Monday, September 27, 2021
Crime & Law

Land dispute led to rape, poisoning, says 60-year-old Bengal woman

PUNJAB NEWSLINE | July 18, 2021 10:33 PM

KOLKATA: The 60-year-old woman who was raped and poisoned in front of her five-year-old grandson in a remote village in West Bengal's East Midnapore alleged that her distant relatives who owe their allegiance to the ruling Trinamool Congress were responsible. She also claimed that they wanted to grab her land and thus, she was subjected to such a brutal attack.

According to the National Human Rights Commission report that was submitted before the Calcutta High Court, the woman said that on the night of May 4-5, two days after the Assembly election results, Trinamool men attacked her inside her home and one of them raped her, as her five-year-old grandson watched. She was also forced to ingest some poison, and spent more than a month in hospital.

Speaking to IANS from her secret hideout in Kolkata where she has been living for the last one month fearing that she and her family might be killed if they return to their village in East Midnapore district, the sexagenarian woman alleged: "We are scared to go to our village. We are getting calls from unknown people threatening us to drop the case. Four of the five people are our distant relatives and they want to grab my land."

The woman and her family, who once were also supporters of the Trinamool, switched over to the BJP because they wanted to save their 1.5 bigha of land which was their only possession.

"On that fateful night, supporters of Trinamool came and threatened us that if they don't accept their proposal, then they would rape and kill my sister-in-law. Scared of the Trinamool goons, we all decided to leave the house but my mother-in-law refused to leave and so she stayed alone in the house with her grandson," the woman's son-in-law, who is now staying with her in Kolkata, said.

According to him, at night, the accused came for his sister-in-law who is just 25 and because they couldn't find her, they tortured his mother-in-law. In her complaint to the police and in a petition to the apex court (a copy of which is with IANS), the woman named five people for the sexual assault -- S.K. Usman (Ara), Goutam Kumar Das, Sushanto Kumar, Savsivanti Kumar, and Subroto Das.

Though police arrested Usman and Das and booked them under Sections 448 (house trespass), 376 (rape), 328 (causing hurt by means of poison) and 307 (attempt to murder), the rest of the three accused are still absconding.

"The victim was admitted in hospital till June 12. After she was discharged, she didn't return to her original address. We looked for her and finally found her in Nandigram. A notice was served and her statement was recorded," a senior police officer of East Midnapore district said.

The family, now hiding in Kolkata, is suffering from extreme financial problems. "As the court has not yet passed any order, we will have to bear the expenses of the court. We need to hire lawyers else the arrested will be out on bail and that will compound our problems. We had to meet the medical expenses and our money is fast drying out. We don't know how to survive," the woman's son-in-law said.

"Initially the party (BJP) assured to provide financial assistance but they are not taking our calls even. We don't know what to do. I cannot take my mother-in-law to the village because we are continuously getting threatening calls. I cannot provide medical treatment for her also. We are looking forward to the High Court order and that can only help us out of the situation," he added.



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