After shocker gang-rape ordered by panchayat, assaulters sent to jail as West Bengal erupts in fury

Written by PTI | Suri | Updated: Jan 23 2014, 23:54pm hrs
Thirteen persons arrested in Birbhum district for alleged gang-rape of a 20-year-old girl were today sent to 14-days jail custody by a court.

Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Bolpur, Pijush Ghosh sent the 13 accused to 14-days jail custody after rejecting their bail petitions.

The girl was gang-raped at Labhpur in Birbhum district of West Bengal allegedly by the 13 persons on Tuesday night after which her family filed a complaint with police.

West Bengal, ruled by Trinamool Congress' Mamata Banerjee, is reeling under a spate of rapes and gang-rapes over the recent months.

In their complaint, the woman's family said the incident happened after a meeting of community leaders who decided to "punish" her for having a relationship with a boy outside her community.

Apart from the 13 locals who have been slapped with charges of gang-rape and causing grievous injury to a woman, the youth with whom the girl reportedly had an affair has also been arrested.

The charges against the youth are not clear.

Political parties condemn gang-rape tribal girl

The gang-rape of a tribal girl allegedly on the orders of a khap panchayat in Birbhum district on January 21 was condemned today by political parties cutting across the party lines.

Ruling Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien tweeted, "Awoke to a terrible news of a young tribal girl gang-raped on Khap orders in Birbhum. 10 'beasts' swiftly rounded up. Social malaise; must change."

Stating that the police and administration did not sit idle and 13 of the accused were immediately arrested, President of TMC, Birbhum district, Anubrata Mondol, said the perpetrators should be given strong punishment.

CPI(M) central committee member Mohammed Salim said "What has happened is barbaric, savage and uncivilised. Such incidents are unexpected in Bengal."

He alleged that incidents of rape had increased in the state as the police were not taking proper steps when such cases were reported and the perpetrators went scot free.

State Congress President Pradip Bhattacharya said "We are going back to 16th century. This is unprecedented and unacceptable. The state government should take steps to control such incidents."

Intellectuals also came forward to denounce the horrendous incident.

"This is barbaric and uncivilised. If we can't stop such incidents then both the state and the country will be doomed," poet Shankha Ghosh told PTI.

Painter Jogen Chowdhury felt that reporting of such tragic and shameful incidents in the media should be checked as it affected society.

"What happened is shameful and should not have happened. But I personally feel that reporting of such incidents should be done carefully as some times it has adverse effects on society," said Chowdhury.