Suzette Jordan is dead. All five men accused of raping her in a moving car on February 6, 2012, have been found guilty. Jordan, who died of encephalitis in March 2015, chose not to stay anonymous but to reveal her identity, to fight back.
"I'm a person," she told the host Aamir Khan in an episode of Satyamev Jayate, "and I want my life back." In the video above, Jordan recounts how visiting the site of the rape and murder of another woman in a village near here home – "I could smell the blood" – made her decide not to seek refuge as a victim but to do all she could to ensure that the perpetrators were brought to justice.
The rape was initially dismissed by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee as a "fabricated incident". On Thursday, a Kolkata court found all five accused – two of whom are absconding – guilty. It's come too late to bring any sort of closure to Suzette Jordan herself, but the judgment vindicates the courage with which she withstood all the pressure to drop the charges, along with the stigmatisation.
Banerjee is yet to respond to the judgment on either her Facebook or Twitter page, on both of which she is quite active.