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Gang-rape: Supreme Court issues notice to West Bengal government

Posted on Jan 24 2014 | IBNS

New Delhi/Kolkata, Jan 24 : Taking suo motu cognisance of the Birbhum gang-rape case, the Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to the West Bengal government and asked it to file a report within a week.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday ordered the removal of the Birbhum superintendent of police C Sudhakar after a tribal girl was gang-raped at the order of a village panchayat.

While 13 accused, including a village council head, were arrested, the Trinamool Congress tweeted that Mamata Banerjee, who is now touring in North Bengal and was in Darjeeling, has ordered the removal of Birbhum SP C Sudhakar.

The SP was removed because the accused were not taken into police custody, a lapse that angered the chief minister.

West Bengal Women and Child Welfare Minister Shashi Panja also spoke to the victim's family and assured all assistance.

Earlier at least 13 people were arrested till Thursday for the gang-rape of the tribal woman in Birbhum district on Monday at the behest of a local kangaroo court of the village that "punished" the girl for daring to love a boy from a different community.

"We have arrested 13 people in this connection. The incident occurred on Monday," Birbhum Superintendent of Police C Sudhakar told IBNS, adding that the girl is now stable.

The incident occurred in Subalpur village of Birbhum district, about 200 from Kolkata.

Such an incident is unheard in a tribal society where women always have their say in choosing their male partners.

While the woman was raped, her companion from a different community, a mason, was kept tied up in the village square.

After the kangaroo court ordered a fine of Rs 25,000/- for their affair, the village head asked everyone "to enjoy the girl" and himself took turn to rape her.

"Perhaps this is the ill effect of the tribal people coming to the mainstream of our so called civilized society," said West Bengal Women Commission chairperson Sunanda Mukherjee.

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