Bengal rape cases: Three groups of villagers to meet the President today

Bengal rape cases: Three groups of villagers to meet the President today

Accused in Kamduni rape case being led away by police.

Kolkata:  A group of residents from West Bengal's Kamduni village, where a 20-year-old college student was gang-raped and murdered last month, will meet President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday. Two other groups will also meet the President to lodge their protest against similar incidents in their villages in Murshidabad district.

On June 17, a class 9 student was found allegedly raped and murdered in Sonadanga village. In Kharjuna, people are protesting the alleged rape and murder of a housewife on June 23.

Although one person has been arrested in connection with the Kharjuna case, the villagers are angry with the district Superintendent of Police Humayun Kabir for his handling of the matter. The senior policeman had said that the woman was involved in an extramarital affair, and an altercation with the man led to the murder.

He also said that the two had 'enjoyed' the tryst and the case was thus not that of rape, but of murder. The woman's husband and the villagers, enraged by the comments, want the President to intervene.

Family, friends and neighbours of the girl from Kamduni will meet the President and demand a CBI probe in the crime.

"I have no demand. I don't want a job, a house or compensation. I want the culprits to be hanged," girl's father had said.

Ten days after the ghastly crime, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had visited the girl's family. But she was angered by slogan shouting villagers demanding quick justice. As she was leaving the village, several women ran after her demanding to speak to her. That apparently angered her even more. She then turned towards the women, and told them to shut up. She also called the villagers CPM cadres and Maoists.

This left the villagers antagonised. Later, when the CID produced a chargesheet in a local court, the judge punched gaping holes in it and ordered a revised chargesheet to be presented. Among the most glaring discrepancies in the earlier chargesheet was the fact that while seven people were accused of gang-rape, only one person was named in the attached case diary as having committed the crime.

Miffed by the CID, the villagers then decided to meet the President.

The move is unlikely to please Ms Banerjee. But the villagers clearly feel that after being labelled Maoists and CPM by her, they are not going to get justice at the hands of the state authorities.

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