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HC faults rape affidavits

Calcutta High Court on Wednesday was displeased with the affidavits that the home secretary and officers of three police stations had filed on the alleged gang rape of a girl in Madhyamgram and her subsequent death.

The affidavits described the incidents but failed to clarify the sources of information.

Justice Dipankar Dutta directed the government pleader, Ashok Banerjee, to ask the four to submit supplementary affidavits stating the exact source from where they had gathered the information about the alleged gang rape last October and the girl’s death in December.

He went through the affidavits filed by home secretary Basudeb Banerjee, the circle inspectors of Airport and Madhyamgram police stations and the officer-in-charge of Tallah police station.

“It seems the four officers had merely described the incidents. They failed to state how and from whom they had gathered the information about the incidents,” Justice Dutta remarked.

The judge directed the government pleader to ask the home secretary and the three others to submit in the supplementary affidavits details about the collection of information. The court will look at the papers again on March 27.

Legal experts said mentioning the sources of information was vital because that would help the court to summon and question the informants to verify the incident or the sequence of events.

The girl had allegedly been gang-raped on October 26 and again the next day while she and her father were returning from Madhyamgram police station after lodging a complaint.

The family shifted to a rented room near the airport after being allegedly hounded out of Madhyamgram.

This is where the girl was allegedly set ablaze by persons known to the accused. She died at RG Kar Medical College and Hospital on December 31.

The high court appointed DIG CID (operation) Damayanti Sen, who was in the news for the Park Street rape case, to probe the alleged gang rape and death.

A week ago, in response to an order of the court, she placed a report.

Soon after, the judge asked three police officers to file affidavits. The home secretary was asked to state the government’s view.

The officers claimed that the girl was raped but not murdered. They called the girl’s death as suicide.

Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya, appearing on behalf of the girl’s father, told the court his “client had alleged that his daughter’s body was hijacked by (Tallah) police and a CD on the incident is available”.

Justice Dutta asked him to bring the CD on March 27.

The girl’s father, a taxi driver, had moved the high court in January expressing lack of faith in the police inquiry.