Bengal gang rape: Police seek custody of accused

    By IANS,

    Kolkata : The 13 accused in the shocking gang rape case of a tribal woman on the orders of a kangaroo court in West Bengal’s Birbhum district were Friday presented in court with the police seeking their custody.

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    “All 13 accused have been presented before the court … we have sought their custody,” a police officer said.

    The accused were remanded to judicial custody Jan 23 after police refused to seek their custody.

    Bolpur Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate Pijush Ghosh Thursday remanded the 13 accused to 14 days’ judicial custody, after “neither any public prosecutor appeared nor did police seek custody of the accused”.

    Later, amid widespread outrage over the brutal gang rape, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee ordered the removal of Birbhum district Superintendent of Police C. Sudhakar.

    Taking suo motu cognizance of the incident, the apex court bench headed by Chief Justice P. Sathasivam Friday issued notice to the West Bengal government.

    Describing the incident as “very disturbing”, Justice Sathasivam directed the Birbhum district magistrate to inquire into the matter and submit a report in a week.

    The woman was allegedly assaulted by more than a dozen men following the orders of a tribal kangaroo court which found her “guilty of having an affair with a man outside her community”.

    The incident happened Monday night in Subalpur village in Birbhum district, 180 km from Kolkata.

    Asit Biswas, an official of Suri Sadar Hospital where the woman is undergoing treatment, said: “She is stable but has abdominal pain.”