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Rape by neighbour, revenge ransack follows

Malda, July 29: A 35-year-old man was arrested today for allegedly raping a neighbour after tying up her seven-year-old daughter and threatening them of dire consequences if police were informed about the incident.

Sukomal Das, a bachelor who ran a mobile phone repairing shop from his house, was arrested after he and his associates had ransacked the woman’s house today. The vandalism was in revenge for the complaint lodged by the woman with the Old Malda police.

Prasun Banerjee, Malda police superintendent, said: “Das has been arrested for the alleged rape of a 25-year-old housewife on Saturday night. He was charged under Section 376 (rape) and Section 448 (forceful entry) of the IPC. The accused will be produced in court tomorrow.”

According to the police, the husband of the victim is a day wage labourer and is away in New Delhi. The woman stays with her mother-in-law and seven-year-old daughter.

“On Saturday night, the woman and her daughter were at home. Her mother-in-law had gone to attend a kirtan recital in the village. Around 9.30pm, Das forcibly entered the woman’s home. He tied up her daughter’s hand and feet and gagged her before raping the housewife. The woman has said in her complaint that Das threatened to throw acid on her and her daughter if she told on him,” a source said.

Sources said Das had been making advances towards her for several weeks. “When villagers came to know about the rape, a salisi meeting was held on Sunday night. Das and his family members didn’t turn up at the meeting. It was decided that the woman would file an FIR with police. The complaint was lodged last night.

Villagers said around 9am today, Das and his associates barged into the woman’s home and ransacked it. “The police soon came and arrested Das,” said a villager.