A Kolkata court on Thursday held three men guilty of gang raping a 37-year-old mother of two inside a moving car in the posh Park Street area more than three years ago.
The accused Sumit Bajaj, Ruman Khan and Naseer Khan were convicted by the sessions court. The sentence is expected to be delivered on Friday afternoon.
The woman, an Anglo-Indian mother of two, died in March this year of multi-organ failure in a city hospital after a long battle for justice.
“Her soul can now rest in peace. Justice has been delivered and we are happy. It has been tough on her and tough on the family,” her sister told reporters outside the court.
Her father said, “We have gone through a lot. My daughter is no more, but justice has been delivered.”
The woman was raped by five men on the night of February 6, 2012, after they befriended her at a night club on Park Street. Two others, including prime accused Kader Khan, are yet to be arrested.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who had stormed to power in the state just 11 months earlier, had to face severe criticism after she described the incident as “staged” and “designed to malign” her government.
A police team led by former joint commissioner of police (crime) Damayanti Sen investigated the case and apprehended three of the accused. Sen was later transferred as DIG (training) to Barrackpore, a post considered low-profile in police circles.
Banerjee faced another round of criticism when Sen was transferred - a move regarded as an outcome of her contradicting the chief minister.
Soon after the incident, prime accused Kader fled to Mumbai and managed to escape before Kolkata Police could reach there.
The trial went on in camera for more than two years. As many as 45 witnesses were examined.
After the incident, the woman faced many adverse situation with a lot of courage and even started empowering survivors like her through a helpline.
“Why should a person, who was raped, be called a victim when she is actually a survivor?” she had said in an interview.
Faced with the responsibility off two teenage daughters, she desperately tried to procure a job, but without any success.
In 2013, shaking off inhibitions she revealed her identity by marching on the streets of the city to protest against a series of rapes and murders in West Bengal.