The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Uncle’ rapes deaf and mute child

Cooch Behar, July 30: An eight-year-old deaf and mute girl was hospitalised last night after her friend’s father raped her.

The 40-year-old man of Kachamari, who has been arrested, has confessed to his crime and said he repented it.

The only daughter of daily wage worker parents, Reena (name changed) used to go over to her neighbour’s in the afternoon to play. Yesterday was no exception. But what surprised her was when “Uncle” called her inside the house. The accused is a wealthy farmer and little Reena was pleased by the invitation.

“All this she told me in sign language. At first she only cried silently and then when I realised what she was talking about, I checked her private parts. She was bleeding and was hurt. We were shocked,” said Girobala Barman, the girl’s mother who had come to the Kotwali police station here from Kachamari to lodge a complaint last night. Reena’s father is also speech impaired and the penniless couple had pleaded with a bus conductor to let them travel free the distance of 15km.

“They arrived around 7am. The girl’s family could not afford the bus fare. The child has been admitted to MJN Hospital,” said Rajib Bhattacharya, the inspector-in-charge of the Kotwali police station. Doctors at the hospital refused to talk as “as it is a police case”.

The accused fled the area soon after raping the girl. “But we found him around 2.30am. He confessed to his crime,” said Bhattacharya.

“He has told us that he was truly sorry. ‘I don’t know what came over me in that split second’, those were his exact words,” a police official said.

Girobala said she was grateful to the police for arranging for her daughter’s treatment. “The accused is somebody we knew and trusted,” she said.

The women in the village have demanded death penalty for the accused, who was produced in court today. “We want him to get exemplary punishment,” said Manju Barman, a resident of Kachamari.

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