A youth pierced the eye of an elderly person on Monday night at Lakshmighat village under Englishbazar police station of Malda as his widow daughter didn’t agree to withdraw a police complaint of attempted rape against the youth.
The 60-year old injured has been admitted to Malda Medical College and Hospital (MMCH). The accused is on the run after the incident.
Locals told HT on July 8 this year, Rintu Sheikh (45), a resident of Chouduar village under Ratua police station of Malda attempted rape on 35-year old Rani Chowdhury (name changed), a resident of neighbouring Lakshmighat village. When Rani raised an alarm Rintu fled from her house.
Rani lives in her father’s house in Malda with two minor children after the death of her husband about eight years ago.
The next day Rani lodged a complaint of attempted rape against Rintu with Pukuria police station. But instead of taking action against Rintu, the officers of the PS 'mutually settled' the issue and let Rintu go free.
The state horticulture minister and Trinamool MLA of Englishbazar, Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury, however tried to play down the incident. "The woman and the accused youth had an affair and everyone of the village knows this. Several times villagers saw them together in the village," he remarked in Kolkata.
"On Monday night, the victim person caught his daughter and the accused person in a compromising state in his house. At that time he was attacked by the accused person. However, I have asked police to arrest the culprit immediately," said Chowdhury.
"It is incredible that the minister is speaking in this manner. He could have even said that the father invited the attack on himself," remarked BJP leader Tathagata Roy.
CPI(M) central committee member Md Selim said, "It is unfortunate that a minister would be making such a comment in a heinous crime."
According to locals, recently Rintu was creating pressure of Rani's family to withdraw the complaint, but the woman's family didn't comply. Infuriated at the constant denial, Rintu attacked Rani's father Sandip Chowdhury (name changed) when he came out of his home to relieve himself.
Rintu hit Sandip in the head with an iron rod and tried to gouge out his eyes with the weapon.
A profusely bleeding Sandip was rushed to MMCH, where doctors performed a surgery in his right eye. A senior doctor told HT that he lost vision in the right eye and sustained serios head injuries.
"On July 8 Rintu barged into our house when I was boiling paddy. There was none in the house and Rintu took advantage of it and grabbed me and tried to force himself on to me. However, when I raised an alarm a few neighbours came over and Rintu fled," said Rani.
"The next day I lodged a written complaint against Rintu with Pukuria police station. But later the officers of the PS settled the matter mutually. But for last10-odd days Rintu was again creating pressure on my family to withdraw the complaint against him. But I didn’t agree to his proposal. I told him that police has solved the issue so I will not take back my complaint," she added.
"As I didn’t comply, he slapped some posters on my house abusing me. On Monday evening around 8:30 he attacked my father when he stepped out. He even tried to gouge out his eyes. But Rintu fled away when some villagers chased him."
"I have no word to condemn the incident. Police should take stern action against the accused," remarked Malda district Trinamool Congress president Dr Moajjem Hossain.
"We have got a fresh complaint against Rintu but the accused person is on the run after the incident, officers are conducting raids for him," said Malda police super Prasun Banerjee.