The city sessions court on Thursday convicted all the three accused in the Park Street gangrape case of February 2012.
The city sessions court on Thursday convicted all the three accused in the Park Street gangrape case of February 2012. Additional district session judge of fast track court II, Mr Chiranjib Bhattacharya pronounced Ruman Khan, Naser Khan and Sumit Bajaj guilty.
The trio had been in jail since their arrest in February 2012. The quantum of punishment will be declared on Friday.
“The accused were found guilty under sections 376 (2)(g) (gangrape), 120B (criminal conspiracy) 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intention) of IPC,” Ms Sarbani Roy, senior public prosecutor of the case said. The main accused Kader Khan and his associate Mohammad Ali Khan are still absconding.
The Park Street gangrape survivor’s family welcomed the judgement. However, she was was not present to enjoy this moment of triumph. She died in March 2015 of multiple organ failure, after battling meningoencephalitis at the age of 40. She was gangraped in a moving vehicle on the night of February 5, 2012 shortly after stepping out of a night club in Park Street. In 2013, she had courageously revealed her identity.
She had accused five youth in her complaint lodged at Park Street police station on February 8. The incident sent shockwaves. The detective department of the Kolkata police took up the investigation and cracked the case within 10 days and arrested three accused, while Kader and Ali fled the city.
The trial in the case began in 2013 and ended on November 21 this year. The victim was examined and cross-examined for almost six months.
Justice Bhattacharya apparently convicted the accused relying on the deposition of the victim. “Her fearless attitude and belief in herself paid off. Some people holding responsible positions in society had questioned her moral character. She had undergone tremendous mental torment almost everyday but fought hard for justice. I am happy that justice has been served, “ Mr Subhasish Roy, victim’s advocate said.
Mr K.K. Tewari, the advocate for the accused Bajaj, said that the lower court verdict would be challenged in a higher court. “My client has been falsely implicated. We will move the Calcutta high court after getting a copy of the judgment,” he said.
The Park Street gang rape case had triggered a huge controversy when chief minister Mamata Banerjee had termed it as a “sajano ghotona” (fabricated incident) even before an inquiry was initiated. However, the then joint commissioner of Kolkata police (crime), Ms Damayanti Sen, who spearheaded the investigations in the case, had maintained that the victim was indeed raped. Two days after she cracked the case, Ms Sen was shunted out from the office of detective department’s chief and was made DIG of the Police Training School, considered to be a relatively low-profile posting.
Parents say Suzette can finally rest in peace Welcoming the court verdict, the family of Park Street rape victim said that at last she received justice. “Obviously we are happy with the judgement. My daughter can now rest in peace,” said the father of the victim.
Her father, grand mother and sister, who were waiting patiently for the verdict, however regretted the fact that she was not with them to share this moment of joy and vindication. “It was a very tough fight for my sister. The physical pain and the mental agony which she had suffered led to her untimely demise. But today she must be happy at this verdict,” her younger sister said.
The family members of the rape victim were patiently waiting for the verdict when they were told to leave the court room. “The trial of the case had been in a closed court room, but we did not expect that the family would not be allowed to be present even when the verdict was announced,” the father said, adding that they left the court room with anxiety and disappointment.
However, soon their despondency turned into joy when their lawyer stepped out of the court and informed that all the accused were convicted.