Three found guilty in Kolkata Park Street gang rape case

Kolkata, Dec 10 (IANS) Nearly nine months after her death, the Anglo-Indian woman gang-raped on Kolkata’s Park Street in 2012 finally got justice on Thursday with a court pronouncing guilty all three accused who were on trial in the sensational case.

The women — then 40 years old, a divorcee and mother of two — was beaten up and gang-raped at gun-point inside a moving car and then thrown off the vehicle near a city intersection on the night of February 5, 2012, after she had come out of a night club on the fashionable Park Street.

Passing the judgment during in-camera proceedings, Additional Sessions Judge Chiranjib Bhattacharya of the City Sessions Court pronounced Ruman Khan, Naser Khan and Sumit Bajaj guilty of gang rape.

The quantum of punishment will be pronounced on Friday.

The accused were found guilty of gang rape, criminal conspiracy, voluntarily causing hurt, criminal intimidation and common intention, under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.

However, main accused Kader Khan and a co-accused Ali are still absconding.

The courageous and gutsy Anglo-Indian woman, who came forward and revealed her identity and even urged the world to call her a “rape survivor” and not as the “Park Street rape victim”, grittily fought her case for three years against heavy odds.

Days after she filed the complaint on February 9, 2012, ignoring disparaging comments and initial reluctance of Park Street police station personnel, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called it a “cooked up case” and alleged that the woman was trying to malign the state government.

Banerjee’s remarks were widely flayed by the civil society and the public, but that was no end to the raped woman’s ordeal.

Trinamool MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar called the entire episode “a sex deal gone wrong”, while then minister Madan Mitra questioned what she was doing at a night club so late in the night and dubbed the rape allegation a “fabricated complaint meant to extort money”.

However, the rape survivor soldiered on and not only fought her case, but also took part in protest rallies against various incidents of rape.

Over the months and years, she almost became a symbol of women’s fight against atrocities, oppression and injustice.

But the woman did not live to see her moment of victory, that also coincided with the Human Rights Day. On March 13 this year, she died of multi-organ failure after being diagnosed with encephalitis.

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