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Woman gangraped on community panchayat orders in West Bengal

Suri, West Bengal (PTI): A 20-year-old tribal woman was allegedly gangraped at Labhpur in Birbhum district by five persons apparently objecting to her relationship with a man from a different community.

Police said the woman was in a very critical condition at Suri Hospital and prima facie she had been sexually assaulted by five people on Tuesday night who were later arrested.

The woman’s family filed a complaint with the Labhpur police station that the incident happened following a meeting by her community leaders who decided to met out the “punishment” for her “crime” of being in love with someone outside her caste.

Refusing to divulge any details, ASP Prashanta Chowdhury said, “Prima facie, she was gangraped and we have rounded up five persons. No more details.”

The youth, with whom the girl reportedly had a love affair, has also been arrested apart from the five people from her village who were slapped with charges of gangrape and causing grievous injury to a woman, police sources said. The charges against the youth are not clear.

A section of residents told the media the incident took place after a kangaroo court of community leaders gave the shocking “verdict” but this could not be officially confirmed.

A teenaged tribal girl was paraded naked in the district four years ago for the same reason, which had sparked an outrage in the State and women’s organisations were up in arms.

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