From the time a teenager was gangraped on successive days until her death Tuesday, the events that unfolded highlight how the alleged rapists continued to torment her family, which found no solace from police and political leaders they claim to have approached. The girl was raped the second time on her way home from the police station, after she had lodged a complaint about the first time.
Initially, the girl was believed to have set herself on fire. Police have, however, since revealed that she gave a dying declaration accusing two men of having set her on fire.
Until November, the family was living in Madhyamgram — barely 5 km from Kamduni where a college student had been gangraped and murdered a year ago. Intimidated by the alleged rapists to withdraw the police complaint, the family moved to a new address near the airport and closer to Kolkata, but they hunted her out there too.
The family is from Samastipur in Bihar, and the girl’s father was earning a living by driving a taxi in Kolkata. She was first gang-raped on October 26, according to her complaint with the Madhyamgram police. On her way home from the police station the next morning, the gang allegedly raped her again out of revenge.
According to her father, the Madhyamgram policemen had initially “advised” the girl not to lodge a complaint, but the family persuaded them. “They kept my daughter and her mother at the police station the whole night and finally registered the complaint,” he said. “While returning early in the morning, she was raped again. We went back to the police station but they took our signature on a statement written in Bengali, which we could not read. We realised later that it did not mention the second rape but stated my daughter had been molested.”
The complaint named Sanjib Talukdar alias Chhotu, Palash Debnath, Papai Roy and three others. The prime accused, Talukdar, is a fish vendor known to be a local tough who had reportedly campaigned for Trinamool Congress and led its “bike brigade” in the run-up to the Madhyamgram municipality polls, which