An alcoholic father takes loans from his friends, who happen to be members of the state’s ruling party. Unable to pay off the debt, he ‘presents’ his minor daughter to his politically well-connected friends in exchange for the borrowed money. They then gang-rape the teenager repeatedly. Sinking to the lowest depths possible for a human, the father also joins the others in raping the minor at one point.
Doesn’t the above narration make your skin crawl? Unfortunately, what you have just read is not a figment of someone’s imagination or fiction. The heinous act described above is the reality of West Bengal, a mirror of its shameful actuality. A total collapse of the culture that the Bhadrolok has been proud about, is the shocking and eerie reality of Bengal today.
This horrific incident has been reported from the Adibasi para, Bolpur, West Bengal. As per reports, a resident of Sian Muluk Gram Panchayat under Bolpur Police Station, had borrowed lakhs of rupees from TMC Panchayat member Diptiman Ghosh, and others. This borrowed money was used to purchase alcohol and arrange gambling sessions. When all the borrowed money was wasted, and the father realized that he would not be able to repay the loan, he turned to his daughter.
On March 31, the father ‘offered‘ his minor daughter to the TMC leader, who then, with his other companions, gang-raped the girl. They warned the victim against speaking to anyone about this incident and threatened her with dire consequences. She was then sent to her cousin’s place for a few days where she received some medical treatment as well. When she returned from her cousin’s home, she was again threatened against telling anyone about this incident or lodging a police complaint.
But the nightmare for the minor teenager was not over yet. On Sunday, April 3, when the girl returned home after seeing the doctor, she was again grabbed by Ghosh and his accomplices, and gang-raped again. This time, her father also joined the perpetrators to violate his daughter, as per the official complaint.
A criminal case has been registered, and four accused, including the TMC leader, the father of the victim, and two others, have been booked under IPC 376D for gang rape, 506 for criminal intimidation, SC/ST Act and POCSO Act. The police arrested all the four accused and presented them before the court on Tuesday, April 5. They have been sentenced to police remand for further investigations.
On the other hand, the victim, initially admitted to the Bolpur Mahakuma Hospital, was transferred to Kolkata’s SSKM Hospital on Tuesday. She is still battling for life.
While rapes – the most gruesome and cruel ones – have become as regular as maachh-bhaat in Bengal, this one underscores the depravity in society and tears the frail mask of “bhodrata” asunder. The immorality in society is evident by the fact that this child was not raped by some strangers who abducted her from the streets but was presented to her perpetrators by her father, who joined others in violating her.
The law and order machinery had collapsed long back under Mamata Banerjee’s reign, but such moral disintegration shows total societal collapse. Murders are being reported every day, including political and non-political killings. The education system has plummeted to such lows that students submit answer papers with the threat of “Khela Hobe” or revolting dialogues from the movies, like “Pushpa Raj…Apun Likhega Nahi S***.”
Drug rackets and sex scandals have infested the most prestigious educational institutions. Employment opportunities have dried up. The white-collared professionals from Bengal are fleeing to Gurugram, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. The blue-collar labourers follow the white-collared demography and serve as maids, cleaners, or menial labourers.
Failing to bring in any industry or employment opportunity in the state, the state dispensation is promoting the consumption of liquor. This very vicious cycle evolves into a full circle when a father, bereft of money and in an alcoholic daze, looks at his daughter as an object to be trades, besmirching the once glorious land of West Bengal. The state is experiencing a colossal breakdown at various levels. The media, the judiciary, the centre, the feminist coterie, the liberal clan, and every other institution of power have turned their back on the land that once boasted the stature of being the country’s cultural hub.