Campus atrocities in Bengal reached yet another low when a Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) class representative of a polytechnic college and his friends allegedly gangraped a first-year student of electronics and instrumentation in the college union room after forcing her to consume alcohol.
The incident happened between 3pm and 6pm on October 9 at Rupnarayanpur Nazrul Centenary Polytechnic College, about 200km from Kolkata. The principal accused, Sambhu Mondal, a third-year student of the same college, and his accomplices have fled after an FIR was lodged on Thursday.
“Local Trinamool Congress leaders, who control the student union, had requested me not to lodge an official complaint with the administration. They are all trying to cover it up,” the victim’s father, Sadhan Dutta, said on Friday. He also accused the principal of indifference. Dutta is a railway employee posted at the Rupnarayanpur outpost under Salanpur police station.
Dutta has named four people in the FIR. Apart from Mondal, the others are Nikhilesh Ojha (an outsider), Bholu (guard of the college) and Shobhana Das. Dutta accused Shobhana of seeing everything, but not informing him or the principal.
While locals said Mondal was the general secretary of the students union, the TMCP state president lost no time in distancing the party from Mondal.
This is the first time a student has been gangraped inside her own college union room, traditionally regarded as one of the safest places for students.
“There are many names in the FIR. But four stand out as the main accused. We have slapped charges under Section 376(2)(g) of IPC against them,” said additional commissioner of police, Asansol-Durgapur commissionerate, Subrata Ganguly. The section deals with gangrape. As the news of the incident spread, Trinamool leaders started distancing themselves from Mondal.
“We have asked the police to act objectively. Mondal is not a TMCP member and although we control the union, the board is yet to be formed. There is no general secretary at the moment,” Shankudeb Panda, state president of TMCP, told HT.
“I remember seeing Mondal’s name as a class representative on the list after the student union election. But I don’t remember the party he represents,” Rituparno Bose, the principal of the polytechnic, said.
While Bholu has been arrested, ACP Ganguly and Bose refused to name the principle accused.
The victim was lured to the union room by a (female) classmate who allegedly told her that they would celebrate the birthday of a college student there, according to the FIR.
“My daughter was offered chicken curry and fruit juice. The juice was laced with something since she lost consciousness after drinking it,” Dutta told reporters. He claimed that inside the union room, his daughter got a phone call and she told the caller to save her. The boys then tied up her hands and gagged her. At home, Dutta received a phone call and the caller told him that she was in great distress and he must rush to the college. “When I went to the college, the guard told me he saw two boys taking away a girl on a motorcycle,” said the victim’s father. Dutta immediately alerted his wife that if the boys came to drop her, they should be detained. “However, the boys threatened my wife and said we should consider ourselves fortunate for getting our daughter alive,” Dutta said.
The boys allegedly threatened the victim’s mother that they would upload the pictures of her daughter on the Internet if they rake up the issue.
Police sources, however, said that medical tests did not confirm rupture of the victim’s hymen.