KOLKATA: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Sunday arrested three men on charges of destroying evidence and threatening the family of the 14-year-old girl who died on April 5 after an alleged gang rape at Hanskhali in Bengal’s Nadia district, officials aware of the development said.
The three accused, Surajit Roy, Akash Garai and Dipto Gayali, were produced before a court in Ranaghat on Sunday and remanded in CBI custody. They were grilled overnight before being arrested.
Lawyers representing the central probe agency told the court that after the gang rape, the three threatened the minor’s parents if they took her to a doctor and destroyed evidence after her body was forcefully cremated at a village crematorium on April 5.
Two others, including the prime accused, Brajagopal Gayali, were held by the local police before the division bench of Calcutta high court chief justice Prakash Srivastava and justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj ordered the CBI probe on April 12.
On April 20, the division bench allowed the minor’s family to seek protection from the state government under the Witness Protection Scheme, 2018. The court also asked the government to provide psychiatric therapy for the family so that the members may recover from the trauma.
Local Trinamool Congress (TMC) panchayat member Samarendra Gayali’s son Brajagopal, and his friend Prabhakar Poddar were arrested by the state police. Another friend of Brajagopal, Ranjit Mullick, was nabbed by CBI.
The alleged gang rape took place on the night of April 4 at the TMC leader’s home where these three youths were present, according to CBI.
The victim, a class 9 student, was invited by Brajagopal to his birthday party. She died the next morning, allegedly due to excessive bleeding.
The victim’s parents alleged that she was forced to drink alcohol before being raped. Her father also alleged that Brajagopal forcefully cremated the body and threatened to kill him if he informed the police.
“Brajagopal Gayali held a gun at my chest and took away my daughter’s body to cremate her within an hour of her death. They did not even let me leave the house,” the victim’s father later told the media.