Birbhum rape turns bitter, victim's honour at sale for Rs 1 lakh

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Bolpur: Balai Mardi 12 other accused being produced at a court in Bolpur on Thursday in connection with the gangrape of a tribal girl in Subalpur village.
Birbhum, Jan 24: The tribal court at Birbhum that ordered the gangrape of a 20 year old woman as a punishment turned nastier. This time, it offered the victim's family a sum of Rs 1 lakh as a compensation for the act.

The gruesome incident happened in the Subalpur village of Birbhum district when the girl was caught roaming with a boy from a different community. After being accused of having an 'illicit' relationship outside their communities, both of them were tied to a tree and assaulted.

Then they were asked to pay up Rs 25,000 each as punishment. While the boy relented and left the village, the girl's family said they would not be able to pay such hefty amount as they were very poor.

Hell broke loose on the girl when the 'court' ordered that "she be enjoyed by all the men in the village". The girl was detained and raped through the night before being dumped in the jungle. An heart-wrenching account by the victim and her family portrays how she was 'punished' on January 21 by the village elders when men, her father's age, raped her repeatedly.

"The morol (village headman) ordered that I be ‘enjoyed' by the men of the village. Following his orders, at least 13 people, including (some) members of a single family, continuously raped me. I lost count of how many times I was raped," she said.

The incident was widely condemned across the country and chief minister Mamata Banerjee was criticized for her negligence in the recent cases of rapes. She kept mum in this case too. However, sources say that all 13, identified by the girl, including a local leader of Trinamool Congress, the village chief and the one who ordered the gang rape on Tuesday morning have been arrested and produced in Bolpur court. The court has sent them to 14 days judicial custody.

Governer M K Narayanan sought corporeal punishment for all the accused. Inside sources say that the C Sudhakar, the superintendent of Birbhum police, was removed by the CM after it was highlighted that police custody, and not judicial custody, should have been sought in this case.

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