Raniganj, the coal town near Durgapur virtually turned into a war-zone, again on yesterday. Furious public outrage is showing no signs of abating over the inept police handling of the Raniganj rape case. Policemen of the Raniganj police station resorted to lathicharge on women who were protesting outside the police station against the action of the police on local youths, who were mostly Hindus and are in no way involved with either the incident of rape of the minor nor with the violence that broke out after the incident of rape.
After the incident of rape of a nine year old minor girl on Monday (29th April) by two local youths who are known to be close to Trinamool Congress, violence broke out due to alleged inaction of the police who initially denied to even lodge an FIR.
The angry protesters initially blockaded NH 60 from 11 pm on Monday to 3 am on Tuesday demanding immediate arrest of the two youths. But on the next day locals and the girl’s family along with those of other students staged another road block in front of the Marwari Sanatan School and the local police station, alleging that female students in schools across Raniganj were not safe. They demanded that the two youths be handed over to them or be given exemplary punishment. They also protested against alleged police inaction.
Police initially tried to negotiate with the agitators to call off the stir; when their efforts failed, they resorted to lathi-charge, which set the mob on a rampage spree. Violent protesters set three vehicles on fire and damaged at least 30 others, including one belonging to the police.
After this, policemen raided houses of the local residents and went from house to house on Tuesday and Wednesday night and arrested 54 local youths for instigating violence and attack on police. Local residents of Raniganj
complained of police rampaging their houses in the odd hours of night.
To protest such action of the police on local residents, around three hundred local women gathered outside the police station. Report suggests that at that time of their demonstration, the policemen lathi-charge the women to disperse them. There was no lady police constable at that time. The police mercilessly lathi-charge the women in which around eight women were serious injured.
Report of such police action on women spread like wild fire and once again violence erupted in Raniganj town. Number of vehicles were burnt two more Trinamool party offices were attacked. Raniganj has practically become a war zone.
The Commissioner of Police of Asansol-Durgapur, Mr Ajay Nand however refused accept claims that police tortured local residents in the name of arresting people involved in the violence on Tuesday. He said that, those involved for the violence on Tuesday must be brought to book.
In the mean time, report suggests that the medical examination of the two accused has been completed. The accused two, Rajat Khan and Kaliya Sheikh, has been sent to judicial custody after police didn’t asked for police remand.