The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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A Dhantola far from glare

Ranaghat, June 23: Even as police swung into action, stringing together charges against the accused in the loot and rape outrage at Dhantola in Nadia, a 17-year-old girl kept counting days for justice at a government-run home after being raped almost during the same period in February.

Three months pregnant, Abhagi Ghosh’s (name changed) case diary has not been presented in court, even after the police were directed to do so by the subdivisional judicial magistrate here.

The man who tortured her was arrested after a women’s rights group filed an FIR at the Dhantola police station but he is out on bail now.

The judicial magistrate has given the police till July 10 to produce the case diary. The magistrate has also asked the investigating officer to be present in court that day.

Had it not been for Srima Mahila Samity, Abhagi’s fate would have been buried under the hue and cry over the Dhantola outrage. The same group had goaded the Dhantola victims to go to the police and file a complaint saying they were raped during the bus-loot incident.

“The girl was considered mentally unstable because of a speech defect and for days the fact that she had been raped by a goon of Aranghata, Sukhdeb Sarkar, remained buried. Those who believed her did not dare to speak out,” said Bani Saraswati, the secretary of the group.

The FIR was filed on April 9 and Abhagi was taken to the subdivisional hospital, where doctors confirmed that she was two months pregnant. “The police acted swiftly and arrested Sukhdeb but went slow thereafter,” members of the group said.

When the judicial magistrate asked for the case diary, the police failed to produce one. Sukhdeb, as a result, was granted bail in late April.

“The only thing we could do was to ask Abhagi’s sister to petition the court requesting that she be sent to a home. The court asked the police to transfer her to the government-run shelter in Krishnagar,” said Saraswati.

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