Park Street rape convicts get 10-year jail term

Park Street rape convicts get 10-year jail term

A day after a city court convicted three of the five accused in the 2012 Park Street rape case, the court sentenced the three men to 10 years’ imprisonment on Friday.

Two other accused, who have been absconding, continue to remain untraceable and hence could not be brought under the purview of the sentence.

Before pronouncing the verdict, the Judge asked members of the media, NGOs the victim’s relatives and the accused to leave the courtroom.

 While announcing the quantum of punishment, the court also fined them Rs 1 lakh each.
The city court found Sumit Bajaj, Nasir Khan and Ruman Khan guilty of raping a 37-year-old Anglo-Indian woman in a moving car in central Kolkata on the night of February 5, 2012.

The accused were found guilty of gang-rape, criminal conspiracy, and criminal intimidation among other things. The proceedings were held in-camera just like the trial has been conducted for almost two years.

Prime accused Kader Khan and co-accused Muhammad Ali Khan have been missing since 2013.  While the manhunt is still on, investigators have received contradictory inputs about their whereabouts.

Sources said that once apprehended, the two would be produced at court and a fresh trial will be conducted to decide their fate.  According to the victim’s complaint, Kader befriended her inside a popular nightclub on Park Street and offered to give her a lift.

When she went to the vehicle, she found four other men inside. She alleged that Kader and the others took turns to rape her inside the moving vehicle before throwing her out couple of kilometers away from the nightclub.

A single mother of two, the victim succumbed to meningo-encephalitis in March this year at the age of 40.  Since the rape, she broke social norms by coming out in the open and revealing her face.Though a Supreme Court directive protects the identity of a rape victim, she refused to be known as the “Park Street rape victim” and turned an activist for other such victims. She participated in several rallies and public events, besides appearing on TV interviews.

‘Fabricated incident’

While the incident occurred a year after Trinamool Congress came to power, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee added notoriety to it by calling the rape a “fabricated incident” to malign her government.

Mamata faced further flak after Deputy Commissioner (Crime) Damayanti Sen of the Kolkata Police, was shunted to a relatively unknown posting when she managed to arrest the three men.

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