9-yr-old ‘raped’ in Malda orchard

The Telegraph

Malda, June 13: A nine-year-old girl was allegedly raped in a Ratua village early this morning after an unidentified person thrust a pillow on her face while she was sleeping.

The child is undergoing treatment at the Malda Medical College and Hospital and doctors said the girl’s condition was “stable”.

The alleged rape came a day after Bengal topped a National Crime Records Bureau list on crime against women.

In the past four days, two students have been raped and murdered in Barasat and Nadia.

The mother of the Malda girl said, last night she, her husband and daughter slept in a machan (a house-like structure made of bamboo) in a mango orchard near their house at Paranpur Colony Para, 45km from Malda town.

“My husband is a night guard at the mango orchard and sells ice cream during the day. He woke up around 5 this morning and went to the ice-cream factory. My daughter was fast asleep at the machan. I woke up little later and collected mangoes that had fallen from the trees in the orchard and went to keep them at home about half a kilometre away,” said the mother.

“I returned after around 40 minutes and found my daughter bleeding. She was in a lot of pain. She told me that someone had thrust a pillow on her face while she was sleeping and raped her. I raised the alarm and local people came rushing. They helped me take my daughter to the local health centre,” she added.

Mrinmoy Das, a medical officer with the Araidanga health centre, said the girl’s bleeding could not be stopped. “The bleeding had to be stopped and we referred the girl to the Malda Medical College and Hospital.”

The child was taken to Malda in the evening.

Assistant superintendent of the medical college and hospital, Samaul Biswas, said: “Her bleeding has stopped and she is stable.”

The girl’s parents have lodged a complaint with Ratua police station alleging rape.

Malda police chief Kalyan Mukherjee, who went to the Araidanga health centre around 11.30am, said the victim could not say who the assailant was. “The girl was not certain about the person’s identity, but we believe it is someone from the locality. I have asked the officer-in-charge of Ratua police station to investigate the case and identify the culprit,” he said.

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