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Unable to find cash, gang rapes minor

Barasat, April 29: Armed robbers allegedly gang-raped the daughter of a paddy trader late last night, unable to find the Rs 70,000 they thought he had in his home in North 24-Parganas, a district which has witnessed a string of assaults on women over the past few years.

According to the complaint lodged by the 16-year-old girl’s father, a gang of six armed robbers barged into their single-storey house around 2am last night and asked for the Rs 70,000 he had collected from the market.

“All three of us were sleeping in a room when the robbers armed with revolvers broke into the house. The first thing they asked me was about the Rs 70,000 I had got after trading with other businessmen,” the girl’s father said.

The 45-year-old man said that the robbers became angry and abused him when he told them that he had used Rs 50,000 to pay some traders from whom he had taken loans to fund his business.

“Two of them held revolvers to the forehead of my daughter and asked me to hand over the Rs 20,000 I had. I gave them the money, but they took the gold earrings of my wife and daughter. Then they gagged all three of us and tied our hands with pieces of cloth. They took away our mobile phones and a motorised water pump,” the girl’s father said.

He added that while leaving, the gang dragged his daughter out of home and told him that they were taking her as they did not get the entire amount.

“They also threatened to kill our daughter if we shouted,” the trader said.

The couple waited for an hour and then shouted for help. Neighbours rushed in and rescued the trader and his wife.

Police said the girl’s parents and neighbours started searching for the Class X student in the village and found her in a barn about 30 metres from her home.

The villagers took the girl to the local health centre and informed the police. The girl’s father lodged a complaint of rape.

“We have registered a case of gang rape and arrested one Osman Mollah. We are looking for the others,” said Bhaskar Mukherjee, the additional superintendent of police of North 24-Parganas.

In North 24-Parganas, at least a dozen cases of rape have been reported in the past three years.