Kolkata anchor ‘gang-raped’ in Patna hotel alleges police inaction
A 24-year-old woman from Kolkata who works as an anchor has alleged that she was gang-raped at a hotel in Patna in July, when she went there to anchor a programme organised by an event management company.
According to her complaint, two men, including the owner of the company, had allegedly raped her and threatened to kill her if she raised an alarm.
She returned to Kolkata and lodged a complaint with Jadavpur police station in south Kolkata in July, after which the case was shifted to Patna.
The woman alleged on Sunday that even more than two months after the complaint was lodged, Patna police had not made any arrest. She said she was still receiving threat calls from the alleged perpetrators.
Officers of the Patna police said they were probing the matter and would take necessary action.
“It is a two-month-old incident. The case was initially registered with Kolkata police and then moved here. Whatever is there in the FIR, we are looking into them. There are serious allegations of rape. Why wouldn't they be arrested? But before that we are making a detailed investigation,” said Rahul Ambarish, superintendent of police, Patna City (Central).
The station house officer (SHO) of Gandhi Maidan police station in whose area the hotel is, denied that ‘nothing has been done’ by the police.
“We have sent teams from Patna to Muzaffarpur thrice in the past two months. Both accused were absconding. Their phones were switched off. Their last tower location was in Muzaffarpur,” said SHO Ranjit Bats.
Bats, the SHO, said the police had examined CCTV footage and were trying to verify the anchor’s account.
The woman had mentioned in her complaint lodged with Jadavpur police station that she had gone to Patna in the last week of June to anchor an event.
“I was categorically told by the wife of the event management company’s owner that my husband should not accompany me as they were not in a position to bear any additional expenses. She assured me that she and I would stay on the same floor of the hotel. But on reaching the hotel, I was told that she was not there,” the complainant said on Sunday.
The alleged incident happened early on July 3 — hours before she was to catch a train back home from Patna Junction.
“After the event, the owner came to my room around 1am to make the payment. When he started opening a bottle of whiskey, I strongly objected and started shouting. At that point, another man — a friend of the owner — entered the room and shut the door. I realised they had come prepared,” she said.
The woman said she tried to pick up the receiver of the land phone in the room but the men snapped the wire. The men allegedly threatened to kill her if she dared raise her voice.
“I tried my best to resist them but they overpowered me. After that, they dragged me into the washroom and poured water on me to wipe all evidence. One of them thrust a contraceptive pill in my mouth before they both accompanied me to the station to ensure I did not raise any alarm,” she said.
The woman boarded a train at 4.25am and reached Kolkata in the evening.
The next day she went to Jadavpur police station and lodged her complaint.
A senior police officer at Lalbazar said they had started a ‘zero FIR’ under IPC sections related to gang-rape and transferred the case to the Patna police.
Zero FIR can be lodged anywhere irrespective of the place of occurrence.
The woman said she went back to Patna on July 29 to get her statement recorded before a magistrate under Section 164 of CrPC.
“I have been calling up the investigating officer in Patna, who keeps assuring me the accused will be arrested. But to the best of my knowledge, nothing has been done. Now, the wife of the event management company’s owner is threatening me with dire consequences if I do not settle the matter,” the complainant said.