While protests against the rising incidents of crime against women continue to gather steam across the city, there seems no end to the state’s brush with infamy. After Cooch Behar and Birbhum, Burdwan is now the latest hot bed of horrors, with fresh incidents being reported from Purbasthali and Jamuria police station area.
A 14-year-old girl was brutally knifed by a youth stalking her at Kunistoria in the Jamuria block of Asansol sub-division in the early hours of Tuesday.
According to local sources, the victim, a student of Raniganj Searsol Raj Girls’ High School, was being stalked and teased over the last few days by Sudhir Ram, a neighbouring youth. Her mother reportedly got word of the youth’s advances and took up the matter with his parents. She said the youth would shadow her on the way to school and make lewd passes. She said the regular abuse had made it difficult for her daughter to pursue higher education. The youth, said sources, then offered to talk the matter over with the girl’s mother, but the latter refused.
The girl said she had been away with her grandmother early Tuesday, when the youth, armed with a knife, sneaked up on her. He then pounced on the girl and stabbed away at her. As her grandmother rushed to fight him off, the youth reportedly threatened her life. As the girl screamed for help, some locals rushed in and went after the youth. But he got away. A huge police contingent later raided the youth’s residence, but found no trace of him.
The girl sustained multiple stab wounds and was rushed to a local health centre. She was later moved to the Asansol sub-divisional hospital and is reportedly battling for life. The locals staged a demonstration near the local police station, demanding immediate arrest of the accused. “The victim’s father lodged a complaint against the youth. We have booked a case and a probe is on,” said a local police officer.
In another incident, an 18-year-old tribal girl was allegedly raped by three unidentified youths at Jamalpur in the Purbasthali police station area. She reportedly stormed out of the house after a tiff with her mother on Monday evening, and there had been no news of her since. She was found bruised and battered at Dampal Patuli Char, around 18km away from her home, on Tuesday. Her mother moved a complaint with the local police station and the sleuths have already begun raids to nab the culprits. The victim was moved to the Kalna sub-divisional hospital for medical examination.
In a similar incident in Nadia, a 14-year-old girl was allegedly gangraped by unidentified youths on Monday. The girl, said sources, had an affair with a local youth. She had gone for a tryst with her lover in a nearby closed factory when the accused dragged her to a quiet corner and took turns to rape her. Two persons have already been arrested in the case.
Another Class 9 student, who lodged a complaint against her neighbour Alamgir Mollah accusing him of raping her, has withdrew her complaint on Tuesday. She accused the local TMC leaders of pressurising her to do the same. The TMC has, however, rubbished the allegations.