Kolkata, Feb 19: 3 of the 4 men involved in the raping and assault of a woman inside a moving car after she was picked up from the city's happening Park Street on Feb 5-6 night were remanded in police custody for a fortnight by a city court on Sunday.
The three identified as Naseer, Ruman Khan and Sumit Bajaj were sent to police custody till March 3 by the Bankshall Court while Kadir Khan, the person who had committed the rape impersonating as Sharafat Ali, remained absconding. He reported left West Bengal for another state. While the victim claimed one of the four-five men had raped her at gunpoint while others assisted the act. The three were arrested in Kolkata over the rape of the 37-year-old woman, that had spurred a raging controversy in the state involving “inconsistencies” and conspiracy theories since the assailants had impersonated as other people.
The police made a breakthrough in the case after they tracked down the threatening telephone calls that were being made to the victim since the case came to light, Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Damayanti Sen said. Sen also informed that the woman was indeed raped by one of the youths inside the car in the presence some others. The assailants- Ruman Khan alias Tusi , Naseer, absconding Kadir and Sumit Bajaj had used false names when they met the 37-year-old woman at a night club on Park Street.
The breakthrough was also aided by security camera footage retrived from CCTC cameras placed outside the Park Hotel which showed the victim getting inside the car with the four men, as was originally claimed by the victim. The police has also said that it is possible that the men have criminal antecedents and add that they have reasons to believe that this is not the first time that the group has done such a thing.
The arrests come at the end of a week when police said that even though something “traumatic” did happen to the lady who alleged rape at gunpoint in a moving car in Kolkata on the night of Feb 5, they have come across “several inconsistencies” in her account. The 37-year-old mother of two, belonging to the Anglo-Indian community, had said on television Wednesday that she was sexually assaulted at gunpoint inside a moving car after she was given a lift in the vehicle from Park Street that night. The woman and her relatives also have alleged that the police misbehaved with her and mocked her for going to a night club, a charge denied by the police who said it was “incorrect” to say there was police and government inaction.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, however, on Thursday said that the billowing controversy over the rape of the woman and alleged police insensitivity to the incident is a conspiracy fabricated to malign her government. “The entire incident has been concocted with the motive of maligning the government. Everything will be revealed in the course of the investigation. The police will answer the rest of your questions,” said Banerjee, while leaving the state secretariat on Thursday.
Meanwhile, at a massive rally at the Brigade Parade Ground on Sunday, the opposition Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) said the anti-socials are raring their heads again and the irresponsible government was making statements even before verifying the truth. Left Front chairman and CPI-M state chief Biman Bose said the Chief Minister (Mamata Banerjee) herself is a woman but she said the rape was a fabricated lie to malign her.
West Bengal's former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said with the new government in power the anti-social elements are back since "they feel it is their government."