The Kolkata High Court’s decision to release death row convicts in the Kamduni rape and murder case is a travesty of justice in Bengal
The legal system of Bharat has failed yet another victim.
Justice eludes yet another victim, this time the victim in the Kamduni rape and murder case in Bengal.
While the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case of 2012 shook Bharat to the core, this gruesome incident went relatively unnoticed in national media.
The incident, however, created massive reverberations in West Bengal.
It is, however, necessary to understand the incident, the fight for justice and the travesty of justice in this case.
The incident took place back in 2013.
The victim, a second year BA student of Derozio College named Shipra Ghosh, was walking home along the Kamduni BDO Office Road in the afternoon, when she was abducted and taken inside a factory where she was gang-raped by eight men.
After raping her, the perpetrators tore apart her legs up to the navel, slit her throat and dumped her body into a nearby field. Her mutilated body, with the private parts ripped apart highlights the horrendous nature of the crime.
At around 8:30 PM local time, the brothers of the victim discovered the body of their sister alongside a bheri in the at Bigha region of Kharibari in Rajarhat, West Bengal.
At around 9:45 PM, an altercation and subsequent skirmish occurred between the villagers and the police when the latter tried to recover the body of the victim.
The crowd damaged three police vehicles.
At around 2 AM, a large police contingent recovered the victim’s body from the villagers and sent it to Barasat for post mortem.
Prosecution by Trial Court
The perpetrators Saiful Ali, Ansar Ali, Amin Ali, Sheikh Imanul Islam Aminur Islam and Bhola Naskar were all sentenced to death by a trial court.
All the sentences were pronounced in January 2016 by additional district and sessions judge Sanchita Sarkar.
While passing her verdict, she described the Kamduni crime as “rarest of the rare.”
Protests Rocked Bengal
After the crime, two friends of the victim, Mousumi Koyal and Tumpa Koyal, became the faces of a movement that Bengal did not witness in recent history.
They took members of the victim’s family to Delhi and met the President to seek justice. Citizens took to the streets in Kolkata and the districts.
A Bengali movie -‘Proloy’ based on the incident became popular highlighting the travesty of justice in Bengal.
Utter Failure of the State Government
The state government had handed over the case to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) based on which the prosecution had based its case.
However, the case was not only lacklustre in its base, but failed to garner enough evidence to keep these criminals behind bars.
What is more ironic is that the state government of West Bengal hires expensive lawyers like Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Kapil Sibbal and others to represent the members of the Banerjee family in corruption cases but the public prosecutor will represent the victim in such cases!
The High Court Verdict
The Kolkata High Court lambasted the state government for its failure to develop a solid case.
However, the comments made by the judges are bewildering to say the least.
“I am of the opinion the trial court erred in awarding death penalty with reference to the gravity of the offence alone. State has failed to prove conspiracy and prior concert in the crime beyond reasonable doubt.
It has also not led evidence to rebut the possibility of reformation and rehabilitation”, said one of the judges.
Another of the judges said- “On the other hand, conduct of the appellants in the correctional home is satisfactory and other unrebutted materials before this court gives rise to a reasonable belief that there is high possibility of reformation and rehabilitation of the appellants.
Alternative punishment of life imprisonment for the remainder of natural life is a more humane substitute that adequately addresses societal concerns of recidivism.”
What does this highlight?
Shipra Ghosh was violated, brutalized and killed.
In psychology, there is a term called “dark traits of human personality”.
This has been described at length by Jordan Peterson, Steven Pinker and other psychologists.
Perhaps in this Kali Yug humanism is dead, human nature is degenerating like anything.
But it is imperative that the sentence is not only set aside by the Supreme Court of our country but the exemplary punishment be reinstated for these beasts.
The travesty of Justice in Bengal cannot be allowed any more. We demand justice for the victim.