Adding yet another instance to a horrifying chain of incidents of atrocities on women in Bengal, a 26-year old woman was gang-raped by four persons in front of her children.
Ironically, the crime was committed about 600 metres away from Hariharpara police station in Murshidabad, about 200 kms to the north of Kolkata.
The incident happened at Choa-Bazarpara village after 2am on Tuesday. None could, however, be arrested.
The victim was sleeping in her room with her two children when a person entered the room after dislodging some tiles on the roof. Once inside, he opened the door and let in three others. The first person climbed a ladder to reach the roof and worked his way through.
Then they pounced on the woman and raped her for more than an hour. All this while the two and a half year old boy and the eight-month-old girl was inside the room. The victim kept screaming but none came forward to help her.
The culprits also held a knife at her throat and threatened to kill her and the children if she made too much noise.
Over the past two years, Bengal has had the dubious distinction of topping the league of Indian states in terms of crimes against women.
"We have received a complaint of gang-rape from the victim. She has been sent to Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital for a medical test. We have zeroed in on some people who committed this crime. They will be arrested soon," said Murshidabad superintendent of police Humayun Kabir.
"Rani (name changed) stays with her husband and children in Patna. She returned to the village only three days ago to meet her mother. Her mother works as a domestic help in Kolkata. She too returned to the village when she came to know that her daughter and grandchildren are coming. It was supposed to be a family reunion. She left for Kolkata a couple of days ago leaving some money for her daughter," said a cousin of the victim.
Rani’s husband stayed back in Patna and did not come with his family.
"The whole incident happened at a distance of barely 600 meters from the police station and only 50 metres away from Hariharpara-Behrampore state highway. But no help was forthcoming,” said the cousin.