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Villagers: Won’t allow girl to live here

Subalpur, Jan. 24: The trial by fire of the girl allegedly gang-raped is far from over, the age-old and relentless stigma attached to victims of brutality threatening to singe her further.

Residents of Subalpur, the Birbhum village where the 20-year-old was allegedly gang-raped on the orders of a kangaroo court said today that they would not allow her to return home as she had “given the place a bad name” and jeopardised the marriage prospects of others.

A family that came to Subalpur to see a prospective bride, who is the daughter of one of the 13 arrested rape accused, left without making any commitment, which in tribal society is considered a portent.

“The family from Kirnahar village were surprised to see police in the village. After coming to know about the allegation against my husband, they left saying they would confirm later. This means they are no longer interested in the marriage. My husband was arrested after that woman (the girl who was allegedly gang-raped) lodged a police complaint,” the girl’s mother said.

This correspondent saw a group of women standing in front of a hut in the village earlier in the day, animatedly discussing how the girl who has alleged gangrape was the “culprit”.

“Because of her, our village has been blacklisted. No family will agree to establish marital ties with boys and girls of our village. We will not allow her to live here any more,” the sister-in-law of the girl who the family from Kirnahar had come to see said.

Another woman shouted: “We will burn her house.”

Today, the younger brother of the girl who was allegedly gang-raped visited Subalpur from a nearby village where he lives. “This place is no longer safe for my sister,” he said.

The girl’s mother is with her in hospital.