A 19-year-old woman, working as a nurse in a private hospital, has claimed that she was sexually assaulted by three men on Sunday night, an incident bearing striking similarities with last year’s infamous Park Street gangrape case.
Police have registered a case but is yet to arrest the accused.
The latest incident highlighted the rising graph in crimes against women in Kolkata, till then considered a relatively safe place for women.
In the Park Street case, a 37-year-old Anglo Indian woman and mother of two was gangraped by five men in a moving car after she accepted a lift to return home.
In Sunday’s incident, the nurse had got into a shuttle car – Kolkata’s ubiquitous ‘share taxis’ which come in all shapes and sizes – when her ordeal started. The vehicle was a Tata Nano.
In her complaint lodged with police, the rape survivor claimed that the lone man in the vehicle tried to molest her as soon as she got in.
“When the youth tried to molest her, she resisted. She told us that she lost consciousness but when she came to she found herself in a room on a bed,” said an official of Cossipore police station.
She, however, could not specify how she fell unconscious in the car.
Police quoted the victim as saying that she found the youth, who had tried to molest her inside the car, sitting naked beside her inside a room. Two more youths, whom she had never seen before, were sitting on a sofa.
From the youths, the woman came to know that they were inside a house in Yogesh Dutta Lane, an area under Girish Park police station in north Kolkata. The room was on the first floor of a two-storey building.
The survivor also claimed that she managed to escape on the pretext of going to the toilet, running down a flight of stairs and on to the streets where she hailed a taxi with a passenger.
She claimed to have narrated the incident to the person who took her to the Cossipore police station at around 10 pm.
Police have registered a case of gang-rape and started investigations. The woman’s “confidential statement” was recorded by a magistrate at Sealdah court under Section 164 of the CrPC on Monday.
Police have decided to release sketches of the accused based on the survivor’s descriptions. Police also recorded the statement of the person who brought the woman to the police station.
“We are probing the matter,” said Pallab Kanti Ghosh, the joint commissioner of police, detective department, Kolkata.
The incident is likely to put further pressure on chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who had described the Park Street rape charges as ‘fabricated” to malign her government, leading to angry outbursts from social organisations and women’s groups.