The Telegraph
Saturday , August 4 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
CIMA Gallary

Raped on way to school
- Attacker offered 12-year-old money to keep quiet

Burdwan, Aug. 3: A 12-year-old girl in Burdwan’s Katwa was allegedly dragged into a bamboo grove and raped on her way to school this morning, the attacker even offering her money if she promised to keep quiet.

The 12-year-old girl told police she was walking to school around 11am when she was intercepted by the man 100 metres from her home on the outskirts of Katwa town.

“My school is a 10-minute walk from home. I got a bit late today. I left home at 10.55am. I was hurrying down the deserted road when I saw a man gesturing at me. He asked me if I had noticed anybody coming behind me. I did not stop but told him I didn’t,” the girl said.

“The man blocked my way and before I could react, he covered my face with his hand and dragged me into a bamboo grove by the road. He raped me,” the student added.

She said the man asked her to go to school and not return home. “He warned me against telling anybody and even offered to give me money if I kept quiet. Before leaving, he said he would come near the school after classes and give me Rs 500. I was shaking with fear and shame. I sat on the ground for some time before walking to school,” the girl said.

After reaching, she went straight to the headmaster’s office and broke down.

The headmaster said the girl looked distraught. “She was crying. Then she collapsed on the ground and lost consciousness. I called the other teachers and water was sprinkled on her face. After she regained her senses, she narrated the incident to us.”

The headmaster informed the girl’s father, a farmer, over the phone. “He arrived soon. I also informed police, who took the father and daughter to the police station. A complaint was lodged,” the headmaster said.

The girl was sent to Katwa sub-divisional hospital for a medical test.

According to the description given by the girl to the police, the man was in his early thirties, was of middling stature, had a thin beard and was wearing a shirt and grey trousers.

District police chief S.M.H. Meerza said: “We will ask our artists to draw a sketch of the assailant.”

The girl’s father said he was working in the field when he got a phone call from the headmaster. “He told me my daughter had fallen ill. I rushed to the school. My daughter started crying when she saw me. Her teachers narrated the incident to me,” he said.

A police officer in Katwa said the police were speaking to residents to find out if they had seen anybody who matched the girl’s description. The police have found the girl’s umbrella in the bamboo grove.