The Telegraph
Wednesday , January 2 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rape crusader dead

A youth who had set himself on fire in early December to persuade police to register a woman’s complaint of rape died in a city hospital on Tuesday.

Mir Amirul Islam, alias Guddu, was a private tutor who lived in the Karaya police station area. In October, he had raised his voice against the local cops’ alleged reluctance in accepting a rape complaint a girl’s family had been trying to lodge against a resident of the area.

Islam had set himself on fire in front of Karaya police station on December 4 to press his point.

Two days later, the cops started a rape case against Sheikh Shahzada, in his 40s, and arrested him.

Islam, who was being treated at SSKM hospital, was shifted to Columbia Asia late on Monday, where he died of complications from septicaemia.

“He was brought to our hospital late on Monday in an advanced stage of septicaemia that had spread all over his body,” said an official of Columbia Asia.

“The girl’s family had first approached the cops with the complaint in October, but were turned away,” said a source. “A couple of days later, on October 30, they did register a complaint — but it was of molestation, not of rape.” Shahzada easily managed to walk out on bail.

A few days after Islam started to unite people against the cops’ reluctance to register a rape case, Shahzada’s wife lodged a counter-complaint against Islam. “She lodged two complaints against him — of ransacking her house and taking away Rs 1 lakh,” said a senior Lalbazar officer.

Based on the woman’s complaint, the cops booked Islam for looting.

When he learnt of the complaint against him, he was afraid he would be falsely implicated,” said a neighbour.

A few days after Islam set himself on fire, however, the police turned the molestation complaint into one of rape, said a source.

A senior officer said the girl had refused to undergo a medical test to confirm rape, which is why no progress had been made in the investigation.