The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cop under rape cloud suspended

Islampur (Murshidabad), May 21: The district police suspended a sub-inspector allegedly found raping a woman last night by some people who gave him a hiding before handing him over to the police.

“Last night, the public complained at the Islampur police station that sub-inspector Chanchal Saha was found raping a woman in a nearby house. He was brought to the police station and suspended for being drunk while on duty and for intruding into a house,” said Murshidabad police superintendent Virendra.

The victim did not lodge a complaint, but a Congress delegation went to the district magistrate this afternoon and handed over a written complaint.

“Whether or not the policeman committed rape has to be determined in a court of law, but if we receive a complaint, we will arrest him and produce him in court,” Virendra said.

The victim, a 22-year-old woman separated from her husband, said: “I was sleeping with my four-year-old son with the door ajar when Chanchal sneaked in and set upon me. When I raised an alarm, my parents woke up as did the neighbours. The man tried to hide beneath the charpoy, but he was dragged out and it was then that we realised that he was from the thana.”

“It is deplorable that our protectors are themselves so barbaric. How do we poor folk feel secure'” asked the victim’s father, Binoy Bhaskar. He said he managed to pin down the errant policeman with a stick while his wife held on to his hair till the neighbours arrived.

Saha was dragged out of the house, bound to a lamppost and thrashed by the locals. “We were told by the police that they would not take the complaint at night and asked to come back this morning. Then they took away Saha,” he alleged.

“As we tied him up, he pleaded with us to spare him and agreed to fork out a lakh for the woman. He said we could have a share too,” said a resident and we could also have a share,” said Indrajit Dey, a resident of the locality said.

Adhir Chowdhury, the Murshidabad Congress president, said that if the guilty policeman was not hauled up he would launch a campaign. “We will not let this go lightly, we will mobilise public opinion and launch a movement,” Chowdhury said.

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