2013 Kamduni gang rape and murder case

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2013 Kamduni Gang Rape and Murder Case
Time 2:30 pm IST (UTC+05:30)
Date 7 June 2013
Location Kamduni, North 24 Parganas, West Bengal, India
Deaths 1 (female victim)
Accused Ansar Ali
Saiful Ali
Noor Ali
Bhutto Molla
Enamul Molla
Amin Ali
Gopal Naskar
Bholanath Naskar

On 7 June 2013, a 20-year-old college student was abducted, gang-raped and murdered in Kamduni, near Barasat, about 20 km from Kolkata. The victim, a second year BA student of Derozio College, was walking home along the Kamduni BDO Office Road in the afternoon, when she was abducted and taken inside a factory where she was gang raped by at least nine men. After raping her, the perpetrators tore apart her legs up to the navel, slit her throat and dumped her body into a nearby field. Eight of the nine accused have been arrested. The victim's family and the villagers have steadfastly demanded justice for the victim and refused any financial help from the government.

Incident[edit]

The Kamduni BDO Office Road is a 4.5 km stretch from the Kamduni bus stop on Rajarhat main road to the Barasat II BDO Office, from where it goes further north up to Madhyamgram. The 20 ft wide road has fisheries, paddy lands and factory sheds along both sides. The area is notorious for illegal hooch dens frequented by the anti-socials and fishery mafia.[1] A hooch den even operates just beside the Barasat II Block Trinamool Congress party office at Kamduni bus stop. Women passing through that road are almost always met with lewd comments. Locals alleged that a middle aged woman was raped in the same factory compound five years ago. Kamduni residents further allege that the anti-socials enjoy political patronage and hence the police are reluctant to take any action against them.

At around 8:30 pm local time, the brothers of the victim discovered the brutalized, mutilated, naked body of their sister alongside a bheri in the At Bigha region of Kharibari in Rajarhat.[2] At around 9:45pm, an altercation and subsequent skirmish occurred between the villagers and the police when the latter tried to recover the body of the victim. The crowd damaged three police vehicles. At around 2 am, a huge police contingent recovered the victim's body from the villagers and sent it to Barasat for post mortem.[3]

On the evening of 15 June, a contingent of the Indian Reserve Battalion started flag march in Kamduni.[4] In spite of the paramilitary vigil a team of Citizen's Forum visited Kamduni.[5] Several women's organizations, including Matangini Mahila Samiti, Maitri, Manabi, Ahalya and Chetana, visited Kamduni.[5]

On 17 June, Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, visited Kamduni. She promised that charge sheet would be produced against the arrested within 15 days of the incident and that her government would plead for the capital punishment of the culprits. However, nothing has been done so far because of the stronghold of the Trinamool Congress in the area.[6] When some of the women of the village requested her to listen to their grievances, she lost her temper and accused them of being CPI(M) cadres and Maoists.

Victim[edit]

The name of the victim is Shipra Ghosh. While some of the media have published her real name, others have used pseudonyms like Aparajita. The victim belonged to a Bengali Hindu family of the Kamduni village under Kirtipur II Gram Panchayat in the Barasat II Block in North 24 Parganas district.[7] She was second among three siblings in the family of two brothers and one sister. Her father works as a mason helper in the construction sites, earning around Rs 150 - 200 per day.[7] Her mother sells muri and chhatu.[3] Her younger brother is a student in the tenth grade. She did her schooling from Kirtipur Nabin Chandra School.

Arrests[edit]

The residents of Kamduni caught hold of Ansar Ali, the prime accused, and handed him over to the police.[3] After interrogation, he confessed to have committed the crime along with four others. Five persons were named in the FIR. Based on that, the district police arrested three persons in the early hours of 8 June.[3]

Prosecution[edit]

The case is being investigated by the CID, West Bengal. On 16 June, the CID officers took the eight accused to Kamduni to reconstruct the incident amid tight security by the police and Indian Reserve Battalion. For 45 minutes, the accused replayed how they had gang raped and the murdered the victim and threw her body over the boundary wall.[5]

Even fifteen days after the incident, no charge sheet was filed. On 22 June, Ansar Ali was remanded in judicial custody for 14 days.[8][9]

The accused and State Govt. want the legal proceedings shifted from Barasat court.[10]

Protests[edit]

Since the discovery of the victim's body, the Kamduni residents have been protesting against the crime and demanding justice for the victim. They have refused any financial help from the government or any other organizations and kept their protests apolitical. They have received support from the protesters of Sutia and Gede rape cases and the survivor of the Park Street rape case. On the other hand, political parties, rights organizations, intellectual and common men and women took to the streets in protest against the rape.

Protests by Kamduni residents[edit]

From the early morning of 8 June, the Kamduni residents began their protest at the Kamduni bus stop, demanding exemplary punishment for the culprits. Jyotipriya Mallick, the Minister for Food and Supplies met the villagers and promised job for the victim's elder brother, which was promptly rejected by the villagers.[3] The protesters were also visited by Haji Nurul Islam, the M.P. from Bashirhat and Nirmal Ghosh, the President of North 24 Parganas District Trinamool Congress. When the former blamed the CPI(M) for this crime, his car was damaged by the protesters.[11]

From the night of 7 June till 9 June, the protests were mainly held at the Kamduni bus stop on Rajarhat Main Road, 2 km from the Kamduni village.[12] On 10 June, the Kamduni residents protested in front of Barasat II BDO Office.[12] On 11 June, the Kamduni residents staged a protest march in Barasat. From the Kachari Maidan they proceeded to Champadali, where they were joined by the protesters of the Sutia rape case. Many people from Barasat and Naihati participated in the protest march. When the procession reached Champadali, the activists of Hindu Samhati were protesting the rape and murder. The procession then moved towards the court, from where another procession of the lawyers had started.[12] On 12 June, the brothers of the victim met the Chief Minister at the Writers Building. The Chief Minister offered a government job to the elder brother, offered to bear the cost of treatment of the victim's parents and the cost of education of the younger brother. But the victim's brothers refused the help and demanded capital punishment for the victims.[13]

On 4 July, people of Kamduni protested against CID's incomplete charge sheet. They demanded exemplary punishment for the criminals.[14]

Citizen's protests[edit]

On 10 June, human rights group APDR staged a dharna in front of the Chief Minister's secretariat office, but the latter refused to meet them.[15]

On 11 June, Hindu Samhati staged a protest rally and road blockade in Champadali, Barasat, disrupting the traffic on Jessore Road. The activists clashed with the police and damaged police vehicles.[12] The activists of Youth Congress gheraoed the Barasat police station and submitted a memorandum to the police. They also blocked the K N C Road disrupting the traffic.[12] The lawyers of Barasat Bar took out a procession in protest against the crime.[12] The body declared that no lawyer in Barasat would stand for the accused. In the evening a hundreds of residents brought out a candle light procession in Baguiati, Kolkata.[12]

On 12 June, the followers of Baba Ramdev under the banner of Patanjali Yoga Samiti took out a candlelight procession from Deshapriya Park to Shyambazar. The SFI and the DYFI took out a rally from College Street to Moulali in protest against the rape and murder. The ABVP staged a protest rally in Barasat.

On 14 June, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh backed civil society body Sachetan Nagrik Manch organized a silent march from College Square to Shyambazar crossing demanding capital punishment for the culprits.[16]

On 16 June, members of a Facebook community staged a protest march in Dakbanglow More, Barasat.[5] The students of Visva-Bharati University too staged a protest march.[5] On 18 June, around 400 government employees of the Writers' Building marched around the Writers' Building in protest against the Kamduni gang rape and murder.[17] Eminent intellectuals including Shankha Ghosh Nabaneeta Dev Sen, Mrinal Sen, Mahashweta Devi and Tarun Majumder gave a call for a protest march from College Square to the Metro Channel on 21 June.[17]

On 20 June, eminent intellectuals including filmmaker Aparna Sen held a protest meet at College Square. On 21 June, the intellectuals of Kolkata led by poet Shankha Ghosh and actor Soumitra Chatterjee among others, convened a protest march from College Street to the Metro Channel in protest against the growing crimes against women in the state and the Barasat gang rape and murder incident in particular. Thousands of men and women including eminent intellectuals and students participated in the march. They were joined by activists of human rights organizations, different Naxalite factions, Left Front, Congress and transgender organizations. The residents of Kamduni, Sutia and Gede too participated in the march.[18]

Controversies[edit]

On 22 June, the Primary Education Council show caused Pradip Mukhopadhyay, the Headmaster of the B. R. Ambedkar Primary School in Kamduni, for bringing out a procession with the students in protest of the rape and murder.[19] The ex-student of Presidency College was beaten up by members of Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad for participating in the 21 June protest march.

While the Kamduni incident stirred across the state and even hit the all-India news headlines, the court trial has not started. The charge sheet was filed on 29 June 2013.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kids march for their didi". The Telegraph (Kolkata). 14 June 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "তরুণীর দেহ উদ্ধার , সন্দেহ ধর্ষণ করে খুন". Ei Samay (in Bengali) (Kolkata). 8 June 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "প্রকাশনামেয়ে হারিয়ে ফুঁসছে বারাসত". Ei Samay (in Bengali) (Kolkata). 9 June 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  4. ^ Das, Atanu (17 June 2013). "কামদুনির প্রতিবাদ থামতেই কি গ্রামে হাজির আধা সেনা". Ei Samay (in Bengali) (Kolkata). Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Das, Atanu (17 June 2013). "কামদুনির প্রতিবাদ থামতেই কি গ্রামে হাজির আধা সেনা". Ei Samay (in Bengali) (Kolkata). Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  6. ^ Sengupta, Manipushpak (18 June 2013). "দোষীদের ফাঁসির আবেদনই জানাব , আশ্বাস মমতার". Ei Samay (in Bengali) (Kolkata). Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "মেয়ে নন, তিনি যেন ছিলেন বাড়ির অভিভাবক". Anandabazar Patrika (in Bengali) (Kolkata). 9 June 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "কামদুনি-কাণ্ডে চার্জশিট জমা পড়ল না ১৫ দিনে". Ei Samay (in Bengali) (Kolkata). 22 June 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "১৫ দিন পরেও চার্জশিট পেশ হল না". ABP Ananda (in Bengali). 23 June 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "কামদুনি মামলায় অভিযুক্তদের সমর্থন করল রাজ্য". 24 Ghanta. 20 July 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "নারীশিক্ষার এক শিখা নিভে গেল". Ei Samay (in Bengali) (Kolkata). 9 June 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g "বিচার চেয়ে জেলা সদরে পাড়ি দিল কামদুনি". Anandabazar Patrika (in Bengali) (Kolkata). 12 June 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  13. ^ "সাহায্য নয় শাস্তি চাই, মমতাকে কামদুনি". Anandabazar Patrika (in Bengali) (Kolkata). 13 June 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "সিআইডি-র কুশপুতুল পোড়াল কামদুনি". Anandabazar Patrika. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  15. ^ "Kolkata wakes up to Barasat protests". Hindustan Times (Kolkata). 12 June 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  16. ^ "Protests rock Kolkata, web after Mamata's village visit". The New Delhi Post (New Delhi). 19 June 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  17. ^ a b "প্রতিবাদী মহাকরণ , মুখর হবে রাজপথ". Ei Samay (in Bengali) (Kolkata). 19 June 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  18. ^ Sarkar, Koushik; Sengupta, Manipushpak (22 June 2013). "মহামিছিল বার্তা দিল মমতাকে". Ei Samay (in Bengali) (Kolkata). Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  19. ^ "প্রধানশিক্ষককে শো-কজ". Ei Samay (in Bengali) (Kolkata). 23 June 2013.