Kolkata: The West Bengal government has a lot to answer in the Park Street rape case after Kolkata police who had earlier ridiculed her, are now saying that CCTV camera footage shows the victim was indeed telling the truth. The victim of the brutal rape was first mocked by the police, even the Chief Minister rubbished her complains as a conspiracy to malign her government. A state minister questioned the morality of the victim. Now it turns out that the victim was telling the truth. The police now say that she was raped at gunpoint as she claims.
But will the Mamata Banerjee government now apologise for victimising the victim? Om Prakash Mishra, General Secretary, WBPCC, said, "Apology is the first step towards self-realisation. Her comments were unnecessary. The government shouldn't have doubted the victim's credibility. She was victimised even more. The government should say sorry to the victim."
The statement came after the police managed to arrest 3 of the accused, who confessed to the crime. Sumit Bajaj and Ruman Khan were arrested while they were on their way to Howrah station to leave the state. While Naseer was arrested much later. The police have recovered their vehicle, a silver Honda civic. The gun, however, hasn't been recovered yet.
Damayanti Sen, Joint CP (Crime), said, "We have found out that one person in the presence of others raped the woman. These persons used fake names and created confusion of identity. Our investigations have revealed that the persons whose names were taken were not present at the time of the incident."
"The funny thing is that I have been raped, I have been assaulted, I have been victimised. And I am still being victimised," the victim said.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had claimed that the incident was a 'fabricated story' and intended to malign her government and blamed some TV channels for projecting it.
The woman had alleged that among the five who allegedly raped her in a car at gunpoint and threatened her while she was returning from a night club was Lavi Gidwani.
Police after investigating had found that Gidwani was in Canada since January 2, while two others were found to be elsewhere, which had prompted it to say that there were 'inconsistencies' in the woman's statement.
The woman in her mid thirties and a mother of two children, had filed an FIR with the Park Street police station four days after the incident.
Sen said police collected the CCTV footage from the night club and spotted some persons around a car that night.
"However, the persons named in the FIR by the woman did not match with the CCTV footage and it was ascertained that the offenders were masquerading under other names to mislead the victim," she said.
But the main rape accused is still at large. Police say that CCTV footage from the hotel provided vital clues about the attack. They think the 4 accused are habitual offenders and this may not be the first such incident. Meanwhile, the probe against the police officers who mocked the victim is still on. The big question now, is will the Mamata Banerjee government apologise for humiliation this woman has been subject to?