Five men allegedly raped an Adivasi woman in West Bengal’s Birbhum district last week, PTI reported on Tuesday, citing the police. According to reports, the five men raped the woman because of her relationship with a man from a non-tribal community.
The incident took place in Birbhum’s Mohammad Bazar area on August 19. The woman alleged that a kangaroo court asked her to pay a fine of Rs 10,000 and sought Rs 50,000 as penalty from the man.
In her police complaint, filed on Saturday, the woman alleged that villagers locked her and the man inside a community hall on August 18 and beat them up after they caught the two of them together, according to Hindustan Times. She added that five men took her to an isolated spot the next day and raped her. The woman is a widow and a mother of three children.
Birbhum’s Assistant Superintendent of Police Subimal Paul said that all the five men accused of raping the woman have been arrested. “Investigation has also been initiated into the alleged kangaroo court,” he added, according to PTI. The police have filed a case of wrongful confinement and criminal intimidation against the accused. One of the men arrested in the case is an elderly Adivasi leader, according to Hindustan Times.
The Bharatiya Janata Party attacked the Trinamool Congress after the incident. “Kangaroo courts are quite common in rural Bengal because the ruling Trinamool Congress encourages its workers to take the law in their hands,” BJP General Secretary Sayantan Basu was quoted as saying by the newspaper. “There are numerous incidents that the media never comes to know of. In many cases the rape victims are too scared to lodge a complaint.”