The 16-year-old, a resident of Madhyamgram in North 24-Parganas, was gang-raped at Badu on October 25. The next day, while on her way back home from the police station after lodging a complaint, she was allegedly sexually abused all over again.
The teenager and her family were so traumatized by the sequence of events that they chose to shift to another tenement close to Kolkata Airport. But there was no respite. The miscreants continued to hound her till she finally poured kerosene on herself on December 23 and lit a match. She was admitted to the hospital with 40% burns and finally succumbed on Tuesday afternoon.
Political parties, trade unionists and social workers converged on the hospital as soon as news of the teenager’s death spread. The girl’s parents were inconsolable. Their only child had dreamt of being a teacher. The mother claimed that her daughter didn’t commit suicide but was murdered by the two men who used to hound them.
It wasn’t enough to rape her; they had to hound her afterwards too.
The family had shifted to the single-room tenement near the airport gate about six months earlier. For obvious reasons, they hadn’t told landlord Ratan Sil of what the teenager had undergone. Unfortunately, Sil’s wife had a nephew who lived in the neighbourhood where the girl had been raped. Within days, this youth named Minta turned up at his aunt’s house and started hounding the girl and her family. He was joined in by Sil.
“I suspect that they wanted to take advantage of the situation and sexually harass my daughter again. One day while returning home, I found Minta knocking on the front door. When I asked what he wanted, he made a lame excuse. Around 9 am on December 23, he and Sil came over and started abusing us. My husband had gone to Krishnanagar with a fare. I left my daughter alone and went to the main road to see if any of his friends were around. On returning, I found the door bolted from the outside and smoke billowing from the window. I rushed in to find her in flames. She called out to me and said that I should also join her as the goons wouldn’t leave me in peace either. I called out to neighbours and they doused the blaze. I suspect that Minta and Sil set my daughter ablaze,” the mother said.
Some of that gender ideology we hear so much about.