A 17-year-old girl living in a tea estate near Siliguri was raped on Monday evening.
Police arrested the accused within hours of the assault and registered a case of the incident.
It is the second incident in the Siliguri subdivision within one week where a minor girl had to face brutality. Last Monday, a 16-year-old schoolgirl was bludgeoned to death as she resisted a sexual assault.
Sources said the 17-year-old girl was raped by a youth of her locality. Her family filed a complaint at the local police station. Police acted on it and soon arrested the accused.
Arun Ghosh, the sabhadhipati of the Trinamul-run Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad, termed it as an "extremely unfortunate incident" but also pointed out that the accused had been arrested swiftly.
“The police have acted promptly and arrested the accused. We have requested senior police officers to expedite the investigation to ensure severe punishment for the accused,” said Ghosh.
The arrest, however, didn’t stop the parties in Opposition, the BJP and CPM, from resorting to protests.
Leaders of the BJP and CPM, along with some neighbours of the victim, went to the police station where the complaint was filed and the arrest made. There, they held demonstrations, demanding exemplary punishment of the accused.
Nantu Paul, the general secretary of the BJP’s Siliguri (organisational) district, said: “It is a matter of concern that minor girls are being forced to confront such atrocities in the Siliguri subdivision. As a result, a feeling of insecurity is prevailing among people here. The police and the administration should take urgent and necessary steps to prevent such crimes.”
Gautam Ghosh, a senior CPM leader, also reached the police station. “In the past one week, it is the second such incident in the region when a minor girl faced brutality. Such crimes have to be stopped.”
Police officers, who are probing the case, said they are gathering all necessary information.
“The accused is being interrogated to collect details of the crime. We are also speaking with the victim and her family,” said an officer.