The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Widow raped and tonsured

Canning (South 24-Parganas) Sept 19: Tension rocked the sub division today after a 28-year old widow was gang-raped in front of her three children at Nikarighata.

The culprits shaved off the woman’s head and forced her to strip-walk till a social service organisation came to rescue. The group took her to the local police station.

Later in the day, three of the accused were in custody.

The victim was sleeping with her two sons and daughter early this morning when Sagar Sardar, 30, knocked at the one-room house with four associates. As soon as she opened the door, unknowing who the early visitor could be, Sagar and his men lunged for her. The three kids saw their mother being subject to the barbaric act too shocked to raise an alarm.

The miscreants tonsured the widow and forced her to walk through the local market, shouting all along that she was a woman of ill repute.

Villagers and members of the Garan Bose Gram Bikash Kendra, which fights for women’s rights in the area, intervened. “The scene was unbearable. She could not move an inch but was forced to walk with the criminals, who were drunk. We could not believe that such a thing could happen. The members of our centre snatched her from them and took her to the police station,” said Nihar Ranjan Raptan, the secretary.

A resident said the woman’s husband had died of cancer seven months ago. Since then, Sagar had been trying to be close with her. A married man, Sagar was refused all along.

As the woman was escorted to the police station, angry residents caught hold of Sagar and two of his associates. They were beaten up by the mob before being handed over to the police.

Sub-divisional police officer of Canning Dilip Adak said: “The rape seemed pre-planned”.

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