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Park Street Rape: Victim dead, accused found guilty

Kolkata:  Three of the five accused in the Park Street rape case were pronounced guilty today by a Kolkata court.

When the Park Street Rape Victim of Kolkata came out in public as Suzette Jordan, and sought justice, the city and the media went up in uproar.

Under Indian law, a rape victim’s name cannot be revealed without the individual’s permission. The very fact that such a person can openly say that she had been raped and demand that she not be blamed for the crime obviously ruffled some very important feathers.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had called the matter a “shajano ghotona” or a fabricated event, and accused Suzette of trying to show the government in a bad light.

The ensuing media hype was followed by protests, candle marches, and Suzette’s brilliant use of media, including appearing in Aamir Khan hosted TV show- ‘Satyameva Jayate’.

Suzette had been gang raped by five men who had offered her a lift home from a Park Street night club on the night of February 5, 2012.

It was only in 2013 that trial finally began, as the accused had claimed the case was false, and the CCTV footage evidence had been sent for forensic tests to Hyderabad. Suzette underwent rigorous examination for almost six months.

Despite numerous obstructions, senior IPS officer Damayanti Sen succeeded in identifying the five accused, of whom, three were arrested. Kader Khan, the main accused, and Ali are still absconding. Sen was ‘transferred’ from her post after this.

However, the 37-year-old mother of two died from meningitis in March.

Today, after four years of the crime, the three arrested– Ruman Khan, Naser Khan and Sumit Bajaj, were pronounced guilty of gang rape by Additional Sessions Judge Chiranjib Bhattacharya.

On the day when Salman Khan is allowed to walk free, this move gives hope for the many awaiting justice.

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