By A Newsman
Asansol, 27 November: THE public prosecutor of a lower court in West Bengal’s Burdwan district has resigned after a trial court today acquitted all the accused in a gang rape case.
Known as the Katwa Gang Rape, the 25 February 2012 incident had shot to limelight after the Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had infamously tagged it as a “sajano ghatana (fabricated).”
The incident involved the abduction and gang rape of a 35-year old married woman from Ahmedpur-Katwa narrow gauge passenger train by a gang of armed robbers in the evening of 25 February 2012. The robbers had abducted the woman for trying to resist their loot.
Notwithstanding the Chief Minister’s remarks, under immense pressure of the public opinion, the police later arrested seven persons in phases over their alleged involvement in the case. Subsequently the trial began in a Fast Track Court at the Katwa Sub-divisional Judicial Court.
Police recently submitted two charge-sheets ~ one for train robbery and the other for gang rape ~ involving eight accused. Of the eight accused, one has been absconding, two died during trial and five are now in jail custody.
Pronouncing the judgement in the case, the Fast Track Court today acquitted all the accused for want of evidence establishing their involvement.
In his judgement, the judge has said that while the train robbery has been established, the prosecution has failed to both substantiate the allegation of gang rape and the involvement of the accused in the train robbery.
Soon after the judge pronounced his judgement, a visibly upset public prosecutor Kanchan Mukherjee resigned from his post. “This is an unexpected judgement and hence, I have stepped down as the public prosecutor,” he said.
The victim woman said that she feels “shattered” and “scared about safety” following the court acquitting all the accused.
Commenting on the development, Bengal Left Front Chairman Biman Bose said that the judgment was the manifestation of the “verdict” that Mamata Banerjee had pronounced way back in 2012.
Bengal state Congress president said that the Chief Minister must answer “if the woman was gang raped or not and if yes, then how come the accused are acquitted for want of sufficient evidence from the police.”