The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rape, loot in Canning

Canning (South 24-Parganas), April 7: Tension gripped the area after a 28-year-old woman was allegedly raped and shot at and three men seriously injured by a gang of criminals in Bhalea village near here last night.

Additional superintendent of police, rural, S.S. Panda said the incident took place early today when a 20 armed men forced their way into the houses of Purna Chandra Naskar, Haran Chandra Naskar and Netai Naskar.

The assailants first raided Purna’s home, while surrounding the other two houses to make sure no one escaped. They broke down the door and thrashed Purna, demanding the keys to the cupboards.

When Purna’s wife tried to resist them with a sharp weapon, one of the gang members snatched it from her. The miscreant then allegedly raped her before another shot her in the abdomen.

The other dacoits looted Haran’s and Netai’s homes and beat up the family members when they resisted. The gang fled after hurling bombs and firing from countrymade pistols.

The injured were admitted to a local hospital but the woman was later taken to M.R. Bangur Hospital when her condition worsened.

Senior police officers, including Panda, have rushed to the spot and a police picket has been posted in the area to maintain peace.

Agitated residents alleged that the police reached the area at least six hours after the incident. “It needs only 15 minutes to reach the spot. So it was quite astonishing that they took six hours,” Sukumar Das, a local, said.

Denying the allegation, Panda said the police arrived at the scene as soon as the police station was alerted to the raid. “We are now investigating the case and continuing search operations at different places and hope to arrest the criminals as early possible,” he said.

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