The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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DNA rubs off rape slur

With the DNA tests carried out on the three constables accused of raping a deaf-and-mute girl in a prison van coming negative, mystery shrouds the identity of her child's real father.

The case of the deaf-mute girl, raped in a van, had hit the headlines in 2000. Three years on, she is back in the news, after head constable Jagabandhu Seth, constable Brojo Singh and van-driver Biswanath Ghosh filed a petition in Calcutta High Court on Thursday, claiming they were falsely implicated in the case.

The petition was filed after the DNA tests, conducted by the CID on the basis of a high court order, returned negative.

The constables’ lawyer, Rabi Shankar Chatterjee, told Metro on Thursday that he would seek a court order asking the authorities to withdraw their suspension orders immediately and allow them to rejoin duty.

Chatterjee said the inquiry against the accused trio of policemen was conducted by deputy inspector-general (CID) V.V. Thambi, on the basis of a high court order, and they were suspended from service because they were chargesheeted in the case.

“I think it is the duty of the court to take steps to reinstate them as soon as possible. They have been through a rough time, both socially and economically, being accused of a crime they never committed. They should be adequately compensated also,” Chatterjee claimed. He said the court will hear the petition in a couple of days.

In August 2000, the 17-year-old deaf-and-mute girl was picked up by the police on charges of vagrancy. On September 19 that year, she was sent to court for a routine appearance, but while being taken to jail from the court, she was allegedly raped in the van.

The sobbing girl, when she was brought back to Presidency jail, broke down and managed to convey to jail officials what had transpired on the way, through an interpreter. Based on that statement, Jagabandhu, Brojo and Biswanath were arrested.

Although the police initially gave a clean chit to the constables, the case took a shocking turn when the girl was found to be pregnant.

On May 5, 2001, she gave birth to a baby girl. Later, a petition was filed in Calcutta High Court by advocate Tapas Bhanja, demanding a thorough probe into the matter.

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