It was the devil's naked dance of shame thereafter. She was raised to a bamboo platform so that the gangrape is viewed by all, including children. Some villagers also described how the woman's cries rented the air all night, but no one came forward to help. Even her family members, who lived 50 metres away could not rescue her.
Sources say that the family was not even given a night's time to arrange for the Rs 25,000 that the 'court' had demanded. "The headman ordered "rape" and it was a free-for-all," said a witness. He further added,"Among those who raped her were teenagers and some old enough to be her father," said a villager, who was willing to depose to escape arrest. "Almost the entire village - including children - had joined the kangaroo court. All of them hailed it as the correct move."
Surprisingly, the village was remorseless even two days after the debacle. The women, especially, defended their men saying that they did nothing wrong and that the woman had to be punished. In fact, they barricaded the police from entering the village till the SP Prasanta Kumar Chowdhury called for extra reinforcements.
While the Mamata-led West Bengal government is being criticized widely across the state and the country, the indifference of the administration is evident from the fact that no one-from the BDO to the district magistrate-visited the victim's family.
Village women defend their men, saying the girl had to be punished.
The family of the victim was no less troubled as the villagers threatened to ostracize the woman and her family from the village for cooperating with the police. They accuse that the woman has framed the men as she was asked to leave the village if she continued the relationship. "We will never allow the woman and her family to return."
"We know that she lived elsewhere with that mason. She made a lot of money. How can we allow the family back? Nothing happened. She made false allegations against our family members because we opposed her illicit relationship," said a villager.
What the doctors say
According to a report by the Times of India and the Hindustan Times, the doctors attending the victim said that there was "clinical evidence" of penetration by several men and that the report has been sent to the police.
"We have given our primary report to the police. For the sake of investigation, we can't reveal it," Dr Asit K Biswas of Suri Sadar Hospital said. The victim is reported to be stable now.