In yet another incident of gangrape in the eastern metropolis, a 21-year-old mall employee, returning home in a shared taxi, was dragged out and assaulted by some of her co-passengers, police said Monday.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee assured stringent action against the perpetrators, while opposition parties attacked her government for the rising crimes against women and frequent incidents of gangrape.
The woman, a resident of Howrah district, was travelling back home from Kidderpore here in a shuttle (shared) taxi Sunday night.
“A gang rape has been recorded. After work, she boarded a shuttle taxi and was dragged away forcibly by four or five youths in Kidderpore and was raped in a vacant place,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Port Division) V. Solomon Nesakumar told reporters.
According to police, the woman is an employee at a shopping mall in the southern part of the city. On Sunday evening, she left her workplace and travelled to Kidderpore from where she boarded the taxi.
After the incident, the men left her at Babughat and fled. She was semi-conscious and somehow managed to alert her relatives through a phone call from the Howrah railway station.
The victim was first admitted to Howrah State General Hospital, and then shifted to a south Kolkata nursing home, where she was operated upon.
After a formal complaint was registered at Wattgunj police station Monday, police arrested one person.
“We have arrested one person. He has admitted his crime. We are carrying out further investigation,” said Police Commissioner Surojit Kar Purokayastha.
Speaking to media persons at Siliguri in northern West Bengal, Banerjee said: “I have ordered the administration to arrest the culprits immediately. and take stringent action. None of the culprits will be spared.”
She also announced that the state government would pay for the medical expenses of the victim.
The opposition parties attacked the government for its failure to curb crime against women.
“Under this regime, a horrendous history of gang rape is being created. It only brings out the government’s inability to keep law and order under control and provide security to women,” said Leader of Opposition Surjya Kanta Mishra, of the Communist Party of India-Marxist.
Bharatiya Janata Party activists demonstrated in Howrah against the incident.
The incident comes close on the heels of the horrific Madhyamgram case, in which a 16 year old girl was raped twice by a gang and later allegedly burnt to death.
Over the past two years, the Banerjee administration had received flak for incidents of gangrapes in places like Kamduni, Katwa, Kharjuna and Park Street.