It seldom gets more tragic than this. On Sunday night, in between her last-minute preparation for the Madhyamik exam on Monday, the 16-year-old took a break, hopped across to the sweetmeat shop run by her neighbour for a bite, but returned home raped and traumatized by the man she knew so well. And on Monday, when her classmates of Kalampukuria High School at Kalmapukuria village were writing their first language paper, the minor was undergoing medical test in Midnapore Medical College.
On Tuesday, the girl will be appearing before a magistrate to record her confidential statement under Section 164 of the CrPC.
The incident is the latest shocker to emerge from Bengal that has been in the news over the past few years for atrocities on women.
The cops have arrested the culprit, Sarat Shau (45) and charged him with provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) that was legislated in 2012 to impose stern punishment to adults perpetrating sexual assault on minors.
“My daughter was so traumatised that she was not in a position to sit for the exams on Monday. She will now have to take the Madhyamik test next year. But getting her treated and filing a police complaint were more important,” said the father of the victim, a daily wage-earner. He lodged a complaint with the Nayagram police station on Sunday night itself.
“On the basis of the complaint, we have arrested the accused on Sunday night, and slapped POCSO provisions against him,” said Ajit Singh Yadav, additional superintendent of police of Jhargram.
According to locals, around 8.30 pm, when the girl visited the sweetmeat shop for a bite, the owner, Sarat Shau, asked her to step inside an adjoining room, where he said, fresh and better quality sweets were stored. As soon as the girl walked into the room with Shau, he pounced on her and raped her. When she returned home a little after 9 pm, she broke down and narrated the incident to her mother.
“I heard everything from my wife and decided to rush to the police station,” the father said.