The brutal rape and murder of a Hindu woman by a Bangladeshi Muslim man has sent shockwaves through the state. Over 5000 residents of Gangarampur, Dakshin Dinajpur district, gathered in a protest rally demanding immediate arrest and punishment of the accused.
The crime has also taken a political turn and members of both the BJP and TMC have demanded severe punishment for the accused. The crowd, however, wanted nothing less than capital punishment for Majidur Rahman who introduced himself as a Hindu, Pintu Sarkar, to the victim.
Rahman is reported to be an already married man who comes with a trailing history of assuming fake identities to trap women and take advantage of them. His latest victim Jaya* was from the Rajbanshi community of Gangarampur.
He started a relationship with Jaya keeping her in total darkness about his real name, religion and family. The two got intimate and in the process Jaya became pregnant with Rahman’s child. It was only when she was in her second trimester that Pint Sarkar’s real identity and religion was revealed to her.
It was a shocker, but feeling trapped in an unfortunate situation with no way out, Jaya insisted that Rahman marry her, but Rahman, who was already married, declined all her pleas and brushed her off. When Jaya refused to concede and kept insisting on marriage, the accused called her on phone and asked for a meeting. They met by a local river, where he raped Jaya, killed her brutally, abandoned her undressed and mutilated body and fled the scene.
When located by the local authorities, her blood-smeared body had a deep cut down the throat, and her lower garbs were missing. Sources corroborate that Jaya was six months pregnant when murdered.
The accused was caught by the local police from the Hili checkpost area adjoining the Bharat-Bangladesh border. It is suspected that the accused was planning to escape to Bangladesh for good.
But the arrest of the main accused failed to bring the town to rest. Agitated and outraged civilians have taken to the streets with placards demanding death penalty to the culprit. Roads from Gangarampur bus stand to the police station were blocked by enraged locals. This emotionally charged protest was attended by Biplab Barman, editor of Rajbanshi Jan Jagaran Chetna Manch, along with Satyan Rai, former MLA of the Gangarampur constituency.
On Thursday, more political leaders took cognizance of the matter and condemned the barbaric act in strong words. Representatives of the ruling party have backed the demand of capital punishment for the accused. On the other hand, Locket Chatterjee and Sukanta Majumdar of the BJP have also weighed in on the matter and supported the call for death penalty.
Locals say that with the borders getting permeable by the hour, occurrences of infiltrators crossing it with little to no difficulty and carrying our criminal activities are at an all time high. Bengal seems to have learnt nothing from the infamous Ranaghat gang-rape case of March 2015 in which a 71-year-old nun was victimized. The main accused Nazrul Islam, along with four others were of Bangladeshi origin.
(Editor’s Note: *Victim’s real name has been changed to ‘Jaya’ to protect her identity in line with legal guidelines on reporting of victims of sexual assault)
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