Nearly 24 hours after Shanti Devi (name changed) died after being allegedly raped by two men, investigations revealed the cause of death — a metal rod inserted in her rectum.
Shanti Devi, a rag picker, was sifting garbage at 3am on Thursday at a spot outside the India Statistical Institute in Baranagar, about 15 km from the heart of Kolkata, when a matador pulled up.
According to the statement she gave to the police minutes before her death on Friday, two men got out of the matador and after overpowering her, gagged and shoved her into the vehicle. While one man drove, the other pinned her down on the floor with his feet. They stopped at a deserted spot where they raped her repeatedly till she fell unconscious.
Shanti Devi’s rape comes at a time when the city has barely recovered from the shock of the late-night rape of a 37-year-old woman in a moving vehicle in Park Street on February 5.
According to Baranagar police station sources, the police are also looking for one Dilip, with whom the victim used to live. Police told HT they fell out recently, but on the day of the incident, he had come looking for her.
Police claimed the post-mortem examination performed on Saturday revealed that her death had been caused by the insertion of a metal rod in her rectum. “Some labourers spotted her in the morning and rushed her to a local hospital,” a police officer said.
Authorities there suggested she be moved to the state-run RG Kar hospital as her condition started deteriorating in the afternoon. But while she was being shifted, Shanti Devi succumbed to her injuries.
All the areas — from where Shanti Devi was picked up, the place where she was raped and the spot where she was dumped — falls under the jurisdiction of two newly created commissionerates of Howrah and Barrackpore, which the Trinamool created for better policing soon after taking charge.
Police refuse to arrest ‘rapist’ cop
In Malda, police refused to arrest a constable, charged with rape, despite the fact that a complaint had been lodged against him by the victim. The constable allegedly raped a 26-year-old woman several times in the last two years. The woman lodged a written complaint and even met the Malda SP, Jayanta Pal, seeking justice, but to no effect.