Thursday, December 20, 2007

Rape-&-hostage case on Nandigram leaders

Rape-&-hostage case on Nandigram leaders

New Delhi, Dec. 19: The CBI has registered four new cases against CPM leaders who allegedly raped and held women hostage in Nandigram and a police officer who refused to act on a woman’s complaint.

Sources said one of the cases was on the rape of a mother and her two daughters, allegedly by a local CPM leader and his cronies.

The FIR in the case said a drunk CPM leader forced his way into a house accompanied by some supporters on March 14 and raped a woman and her two daughters over two days.

They laid siege to the house and demanded money from the victims for their release.

The goons left the house only after the family paid Rs 1,000, a CBI official said.

The leader allegedly gave poison in the guise of medicine to the girls when they complained that they were feeling sick.

The second case was against a police officer who did not take cognisance of a victim when she alleged that she had been raped on the night of March 14.

The two other cases were registered ag- ainst unnamed CPM activists who, dressed in khaki, fired at the land protesters with the police. These cadres were allegedly involved in several cases of rape and looting.

In its interim report to Calcutta High Court, the CBI said party activists had threatened witnesses to prevent them from deposing before the agency and hampered investigations.

This was one of the reasons the CBI cited while asking for more time to investigate the police firing that left 14 dead and many injured. The CBI got two months to file its final report. It has to be submitted by February 15.

The agency said a witness who had recorded his statement before the CBI was beaten up mercilessly by CPM activists.

It also said there was no evidence so far to suggest that the mob had thrown petrol bombs at the police as they entered Nandigram on March 14.

Even if the villagers had thrown bricks and bombs, a CBI official said, they were so far away that the missiles could not have reached the police.

The police had claimed that they fired only 57 bullets that day. But the CBI report said: “The number of injuries appear to indicate that more rounds were fired than the number claimed by the police.”

CBI questions hospital boss

CBI additional superintendent Javed Siraj and deputy superintendent B.R. Pravakar visited Tamluk Hospital today in connection with the probe. They questioned hospital superintendent Subitendra Patra and Pradip Das, who had conducted the post-mortem on five bodies after the firing.

Home secretary P.R. Ray said in Calcutta the government was probing “four-five” complaints of harassment against CRPF jawans in Nandigram.