Rape victims of Sutia find voice

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"Barunda had protested for us and now it is our turn to continue the fight so that the activities that he had managed to suppress do not resurface," said another rape victim.

The associates of Barun, who was shot dead on July 5 last year, rue "non-cooperation" from the state government. "Hooch death victims get Rs 2 lakh, but the teacher who had exemplified courage and laid down his life for a noble cause, is yet to get his due salary from the government school where he used to teach," said Atul Chandra Biswas, Barun's paternal uncle. He said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had visited nearby area to inaugurate an all-women police station soon after Barun's death, but she never enquired about Barun or mentioned him in her speech. "We had written to her about various issues that were raised in the inquiry of Barun's murder but she didn't reply," he said.

The forum is now demanding a CBI probe into the matter. "The IG and the OC of Gaighata police station had been doing a good job but they case was handed over to the CID without us demanding for it. We suspect it was done to cover up some of the top leaders' name that would have come up in the course of the investigation and this unsolicited intervention of the CID has only stunted the case," said Parimal Mondal, said a local resident and the joint secretary of the new body.

The president of the forum, Nani Charan Poddar, too, echoed similar emotions. "The CID has not taken the case even a bit forward from where it had taken it up. Although the shooter, the linkman and few others have been arrested, all the CID has done is summon us to their headquarters and interrogate us with unnecessary questions," he said.

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