Kamduni rape: Villagers to seek Modi's help for justice



 A year has passed since the brutal rape and murder of a college student in West Bengal's Kamduni village June 7, 2013 and the people of this hamlet are now pinning their hopes of getting justice on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

While Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had asserted "the rapists will be hanged within a month", the Kamduni Pratibadi Mancha - a forum seeking justice - has decided to seek the central government's intervention to expedite the meandering trial.

Nine people including the prime suspect are facing prosecution in the case which is being tried by a fast-track court.

The gang rape and murder of the 20-year-old girl when she was returning home from her college June 7 in North 24 Parganas district had led to widespread outrage.

"We got nothing accept assurances. It's been a year but the trial is meandering and we don't know if the culprits will be brought to justice. So we will be writing to the prime minister and the union home minister seeking justice," said Pradip Mukherjee, member, Kamduni Pratibadi Mancha.

Tumpa Koyal and Moushumi Koyal - the face of the Kamduni protests - who were labelled "CPI-M people" by the chief minister during one of their demonstrations, claimed nothing has changed and women still live in fear.

"We only got politicians visiting our village and giving assurances, but the result has been a big zero.

"Nothing has changed, roads are in bad shape and there is no light, girls and women still have to walk in darkness, the fear factor continues to be intact," said the Koyals, who even met President Pranab Mukherjee seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the incident.

Incidentally, the family of the victim - which subsequently had quit the forum - said they had faith in the state government.

"We have faith in our chief minister and her government which has been extending all help. Law will take its own course and the guilty will be punished," said the victim's brother.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Malini Bhattacharya, BJP's Shamik Bhattacharya and Bharati Mutsuddi, a former member of the state Women's Commission, visited Kamduni and expressed anguish over the slow pace of the trial.- IANS