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March 4, 2003

Calcutta police on rape charges

From: BBC, UK - 04 Mar 2003

By Parth Mukherjee
BBC correspondent in Calcutta

Calcutta police have formally charged three police officers from the same force with raping a deaf and mute woman while she was in their custody.

The three constables, Satish Chandra Mahato, Pradip Chandra Das and Asoke De, appeared at a special court on Tuesday.

The police bringing the charges filed what they described as evidence of a rape which they say happened 18 months ago.

A police official told the court that the three constables raped the 20-year old woman while guarding her in a prison van in a hospital area.

Sleeping rough

The alleged victim was waiting for a medical test connected to an earlier charge of rape.

Police say the woman, who was sleeping on the pavements in south Calcutta, had allegedly been raped by several men.

Following the allegations, the police arrested four local men and a court ordered medical tests for both the woman and the accused men.

While she was waiting at the hospital for her medical test, police say the three constables raped her in a prison van.

After the incident, the woman was found unconscious. Visitors to the hospital took her to the emergency ward where the doctor registered the incident as a rape case.

© BBC 2003