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Mamata govt cracks down, arrests 13 for tribal girl rape

‘I have spoken to the Superintendent of Police and arrests have been made. All the 13 including the village head have been arrested,’ West Bengal minister for women and child Shashi Panja said. She said all medical tests have been conducted on Thursday. Panja also spoke to the victim over the phone and assured her of all possible support.

Panja said if the woman wishes to go back to her home, her security will be looked after. ‘If she does not want to go, then we have identified a home for her,’ she said. The woman was allegedly gang raped at Labhpur in Birbhum district by 13 persons on Tuesday night after the panchayat head gave orders for the rape since she had was in love with a man from another community.

Her family filed a complaint with the Labhpur police station that the incident happened following a meeting by her community leaders who decided to mete out the ‘punishment’ for her ‘crime’ of being in love with someone outside her community.

Apart from the 13 locals who have been slapped with charges of gang rape and causing grievous injury to a woman, the youth with whom the girl reportedly had an affair has also been arrested. All the thirteen arrested were sent to 14-days jail custody by a court in Birbhum district.

Meanwhile, the West Bengal Governor wants corporal punishment for culprits. Condemning the incident, the West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan said the accused should be arrested and given corporal punishment.

‘We should have them (culprits) arrested and corporal punishment should be given to them,’ Narayanan told reporters when asked about his reaction to the incident.
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