Barbaric gang-rape in West Bengal: 'Shocked' Supreme Court takes cognisance, cracks whip

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SummaryThe barbaric incident of gang-rape of a girl by 13 villagers in West Bengal's Birbhum district...

The barbaric incident of gang-rape of a girl by 13 villagers in West Bengal's Birbhum district was taken suo motu cognisance by Supreme Court and issued notice to the state government.

As soon as three judge bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam assembled for the hearing over the horrific gang-rape, it expressed shock over the incident, which has grabbed headlines, and took cognisance of the matter.

The bench also comprising, justices Ranjan Gogoi and M Y Eqbal passed the order and directed district judge of Birbhum in West Bengal to visit the place and file a report before it within a week.

The gang-rape of the 20-year-old girl was allegedly ordered by a village head at a khap panchyat in Labhpur, about 200 km from Kolkata, as punishment for falling in love with a man from a different religion.

She was gang-raped by 13 persons after a 'salishi sabha' decided to punish her on January 21.

The tribal woman is battling for her life at a hospital in Suri.

The victim and her family members in their complaint before the police there had said that among those who participated in the gang-rape were people old enough to be her father.

The victim and her paramour were caught, tied to a tree and assaulted after which they were asked to pay a fine of Rs 50,000. The gang-rape took place after the girl expressed her inability to pay the amount.

All the accused, including village head (known in the area as 'morol'), have been arrested. The gang-rape allegedly took place inside the morol's house on a raised platform for all to see.

All the 13 accused were presented before a court there which has remanded them to 14 days' judicial custody.

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