Nandigram, Nov 16: It's been 10 days since Sabina Begum (name changed to protect her identity) was allegedly gangraped by CPM men during "Operation Recapture," as first reported in The Indian Express today. But the Nandigram police, who registered a case after the medical report confirmed the rape, say they have not been able to visit the victim's house in Satengabari, the scene of the crime that can yield crucial evidence in the case.
record, Superintendent of Police S S Panda says: "Investigation cannot be started because the situation is so tense." When asked if the delay could hamper evidence collection, Panda said: "It's possible to get conviction on the basis of the victim's statement. It's very difficult to get witnesses in these cases."
That's hardly a surprise.
For, The Indian Express was able to reach Sabina's Satengabari house this afternoon, dodging past the close surveillance of a 150-strong mob of CPM supporters. Any one who enters the village has to explain the purpose of their visit and get the cadres' permission. The mud house of Sabina Begum is thoroughly ransacked. There is hardly any household article left inside. Overhead mud tiles are smashed, clothing is strewn on the floor.
The police have also not taken any step to search for Sabina's two missing daughters who she said were also gangraped and abducted by CPM cadres.
CPM cadres now guard the village and mill around Sabina's house. Asked if any police team had come to investigate, CPM member Shyamal Jana said: "No. A CRPF team made a round but no policeman has come after the village was freed from terror unleashed by the Bhumi Uchched men."
At the Brojomohan Tiari relief camp in Nandigram, Sabina's relatives are traumatized. They are afraid to even step out of the camp. Still, they keep making several rounds of the local police station to inquire about the two missing daughters. "But the police have no time to listen," says Sheikh Motleb, the victim's brother.
He says that Nasreen, 14, and Fatima, 16, (both names changed to protect their identities) had studied up to Class IV and Class VI respectively. The younger one studied in Satengabari primary school while her elder sister used to go to Brindaban Chawk Girls' School."They dropped out because of financial constraints in the family and began zari work. Each earned about Rs 3000 per month working under a trader in nearby Bajkul. But the biggest worry now is to find out if they are alive," said Motleb.