A married woman was found murdered Sunday in Murshidabad district of West Bengal, and her family has alleged she was raped before the killing. The state was rocked by two instances of gang-rape and murder in the past few weeks.
Sunday's incident occurred in Kharjula village in Murshidabad. The woman went missing early Sunday morning, only to be discovered hours later, naked and strangulated to death, inside an abandoned health centre.
Villagers and family members of the victim held a demonstration, saying that she was raped and killed, and demanded death penalty for the culprits. The police, however, ruled out rape and said one man has been arrested for the murder.
"This is not a case of rape. The woman was having an extramarital affair with the accused and wanted to elope. But the accused, who too is married, refused to elope and strangulated her to death," Murshidabad Superintendent of Police Humayan Kabir told IANS.
"We have arrested one person in this connection and are looking for others who might be involved. The body has been sent for a post-mortem," Kabir said.
The woman's family, though, has maintained that she was raped. "She was regularly harassed and teased by a group of men. They have raped her before killing her. Otherwise, why was her body found naked?" asked her husband.
The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government has been facing public ire over a spate of rapes and murders in the past few weeks, with many victims being minors.
Incidentally, the National Crime Records Bureau data showed that West Bengal, of all Indian states, has the highest rate of crime against women. As many as 30,942 such crimes were reported in the state in 2012.