A court in Birbhum district today sent 13 persons arrested for allegedly gangraping a 20-year-old tribal woman to 14-day judicial custody as the brutal assault allegedly on the orders of a khap panchayat as punishment for falling in love with a man from a different religion triggered outrage.
Rejecting their bail petitions, Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM), Bolpur Pijush Ghosh sent the 13 accused to jail for two weeks. In Kolkata, West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan advocated corporal punishment for the culprits.
The woman's family, in their complaint, said that she was gangraped by 13 persons after a meeting of community leaders who decided to punish her for being in love with a boy from outside the community, at Labhpur about 200 km from here on January 21.
The victim said that among those who brutalised her were people old enough to be her father.
"The morol (village headman) ordered that I be 'enjoyed' by the men of the village. Following his orders, at least 13 people, including (some) members of a single family, continuously raped me. I lost count of how many times I was raped," said the woman.
Sources in Suri hospital where she was admitted, said that she underwent some tests and was now in a stable condition.
Minister for Women and Child Welfare Sashi Panja, said "I have spoken to the Superintendent of Police and arrests have been made. All the 13 including the village head have been arrested."
She said all medical tests have been conducted.