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Forensic team after rape

Howrah, Feb. 6: A forensic team today visited the Howrah village where two women of a family were allegedly gang-raped on Tuesday night.

Seven of the eight local Trinamul workers named in the FIR have been arrested. Howrah police chief B.L. Meena said the police were looking for a Trinamul leader named Barun Makal, the eighth accused who unsuccessfully contested the rural polls last year.

Doctors carrying out medical tests on the two women today said there were “injuries to their private parts”. A detailed report is awaited. The two are members of a family of CPM supporters whose husbands fled the village after a clash with Trinamul workers in January.

The five-member forensic team, led by Shipra Roy from the state forensic science laboratory in Calcutta, visited the village this afternoon and collected parts of vests and shirts allegedly left behind by the assailants.

The forensic team also collected a pestle from the verandah of the house that was allegedly used to smash a window. The assailants, according to the FIR, had smashed the window when the occupants of the house delayed in opening the door.

Samples of dry blood were also collected from the floor. A team of experts also collected fingerprints.

An officer of the local police station said the interrogation of the seven accused arrested yesterday had revealed that the crime was aimed at creating an atmosphere of fear in the village, where most residents are CPM supporters.

“The victims are from CPM families and the area is a CPM pocket. There was no other motive behind the attack than creating panic among the CPM supporters. Any specific personal grudge against the family is yet to be established,” the police officer said.

A number of residents, who are CPM supporters, have fled the village fearing attacks by Trinamul workers. The exodus followed a clash over the construction of a road in January.

On Tuesday night, the assailants had allegedly disconnected power supply to the area where the house is located by switching off the transformer.

According to the complaint lodged by the younger woman’s mother-in-law, about a dozen youths banged on the door of the house around 10pm and threatened to break it. As soon as the door was opened, the assailants barged in. They gang-raped the complainant’s daughter-in-law and another relative.

The younger woman’s mother-in-law managed to sneak out and run to the police outpost in the neighbourhood.Three constables rushed to the house within 10 minutes but by then, the youths had fled, a relative had said yesterday.

Relatives of the women had claimed yesterday that the arrested persons were known Trinamul supporters of the area. District Trinamul president Arup Roy had denied the allegation saying his party had nothing to do with it.

Today, Asima, the wife of one of the arrested persons, Goutam Makal, said: “On Tuesday night, my husband, who was earlier a CPM supporter, was drinking at home when some of the local Trinamul supporters called him and forced him to accompany them.”