Teen abducted and raped for three days
A 15-year-old girl was allegedly abducted, confined and gang-raped for three days in Basanti, South 24-Parganas.
The Class IX student was allegedly picked up on the night of May 27, when she had stepped outside her home to relieve herself. She was dumped near the backyard of her home early on May 31, her father has said.
“During the period in between, the girl was allegedly confined in a home in a neighbouring village, where she was allegedly raped multiple times,” an officer of Basanti police station said on the basis of a complaint by the girl’s father.
A medical examination has confirmed rape, an officer said.
“I want them hanged,” the girl told Metro over the phone on Tuesday, a day after she was discharged from hospital.
The girl’s father has named two persons as accused. One of them is a “resident of the area who had access to the complainant’s home”, the investigating officer said. The other accused is a relative of the first accused. Both are absconding, the officer said.
The two have been charged under sections 363 and 365 of the Indian Penal Code (kidnapping and wrongful confinement) and Section 6 of the Pocso (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act.
A brother of the first accused, who the cops said was also an accomplice, has been arrested. “My daughter was almost dead when we found her in the morning. I had given up hope that she would survive. But she did,” the father, who sells meat in the village, said over the phone.
He also alleged repeated threats from the “associates of the accused” to withdraw the complaint.
The girl was taken to Basanti Rural Hospital, from where she was referred to Canning Sub-divisional Hospital. She was discharged on Monday.
The girl is being counselled by a local organisation that works with victims of sexual violence and trafficking survivors. “She is a very brave girl and is willing to fight to bring the tormentors to justice,” said Amina Laskar, a member of the group who was constantly by her side in the hospital.
“The West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights and the South 24-Parganas District Legal Services Authority have been informed about the incident.”
“The accused will be arrested soon,” said Rashid Munir Khan, the superintendent of police, Baruipur police district.
Basanti, Canning and adjoining areas in South 24-Parganas are trafficking hotbeds. The lockdown and Amphan have made things worse, said rights activists.
Several girls from theses areas were abducted and sexually assaulted before being forced into prostitution, they said.
“The local police are extremely bogged down with enforcing the Covid-19 curbs and post-Amphan rehabilitation. They do not have the bandwidth to deal with trafficking and sexual assault cases now. The dedicated anti-trafficking units must be doubly pro-active in these times,” said Pompi Banerjee, psychologist and researcher at Sanjog, a network of organisations that works on justice for and rehabilitation of trafficking survivors..