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Seven arrested after tribal woman gang-raped in Bengal, allegedly 'fined' by kangaroo court

The woman, a widow with three children, was returning home in the Mohammadbazar area on her boyfriend's bike on the evening of August 18 when they were stopped by a few men.

Published: 25th August 2020 08:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th August 2020 08:55 AM   |  A+A-

Rape, crime against woman

For representational purposes (Express illustration)

By Express News Service

KOLKATA: A tribal woman living in a Birbhum district village was allegedly gangraped after she failed to shell out Rs 50,000 “penalty” as prescribed by a kangaroo court for her relationship with a man belonging to a non-tribal community.

The woman and her lover were caught when they were returning from a local market and were kept confined in a local club where the two were assaulted before the kangaroo court was organised. In her complaint to the police, the woman alleged she was dragged behind the club where five men gangraped her.

Though the incident took place on August 18, the victim could not muster courage to visit the local police station to lodge a complaint. A local leader of the tribals’ social wing took the woman to the police and the news of the gangrape surfaced on Sunday.

The police have arrested seven persons, including the tribal head of the village. The accused were remanded in police custody for seven days. The police said the woman’s husband died a few years ago and she, a mother of two, developed a relationship with a man living in the same area who doesn’t belong to the tribal community.

“The local tribals were against the relationship and the incident appears to be a fallout of it,” said a police officer.

In the complaint with Mohammad Bazar police station, the woman said: “The group of men took us to the local club where we were assaulted. I was told to pay a penalty of Rs 50,000 which was not possible for me. We were released the next morning.”

Shyam Singh, superintendent of Birbhum police, said the woman mentioned five names in the FIR.

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