KOLKATA: The rape of an elderly woman -- that bore stark resemblances to Nirbhaya -- in faraway Sandeshkhali in Sundarbans of West Bengal remained under the carpet for 27 days till she succumbed to her injuries on Tuesday.
The 62-year-old woman fought for her life after the accused allegedly inserted iron rods and beer bottles in her private parts, dismembering her intestines and covered her with thorn shrubs after raping her on July 4.
Her son Ramesh Das (name changed) said that the accused bore a grudge against the victim as she disallowed liquor consumption near her house in Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district.
"My mother had gone out to wash hands after dinner at around 10 pm on July 4 when she was pulled to nearby bushes by 4-5 people. When I found her my she was covered with thorn shrubs," Ramesh told media in Kolkata.
However, police claim the incident was not a gang-rape and the lone accused has been arrested. "We have arrested accused Rajeshwar Maity alias Bhola Maity, a 52-year-old resident of Number 7 Patrapara village of Sandeshkhali. He was produced in court and is currently on judicial remand. Cases under Sections 375 (rape), 307 (attempt to murder) had been booked to which Section 302 (murder) was added today (Tuesday)," Sandeshkhali police SHO Soumya Chatterjee told the New Indian Express.
"According to the complaint lodged and also according to the statement of the victim, there was only one accused. It is not a case of gangrape. We are expecting the autopsy report in a couple of days when the extent of torture can be ascertained," he added.
The state women's commission said that they can intervene if all the accused are not arrested. "We can monitor the investigation of the police. If we find that all the accused have not been arrested, then we can intervene. However, we are yet to receive any formal application from the family of the victim," said Leena Ganguly, chairperson of West Bengal Commission for Women.
Meanwhile, several women of the victim's village staged a dharna near her house demanding that the accused be hanged.
Capital punishment to those accused in the Nirbhaya gang-rape in May raised hopes of Kamduni village in North 24 Parganas where a 20-year-old girl, later given a pseudonym 'Aparajita', was gangraped and killed by 9 people while she was returning after her exams on June 7, 2013.