A Kolkata sessions court Thursday pronounced three youths — Ruman Khan, Naser Khan and Sumit Bajaj — guilty in the Park Street gangrape case.
A few days after the incident on February 5, 2012, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had called it a ‘staged incident’ to malign the state government. Suzette Jordan, the 37-year-old victim and a mother of two, died on March 13, 2015, after multi-organ failure due to meningoencephalitis.
“The accused were found guilty under sections 376 (2)(g) (gangrape), 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intention) of IPC,” said senior public prosecutor Sarbani Roy.
At 10:30 am on Thursday, Judge Chiranjib Bhattacharya, said the proceedings would be conducted in-camera as had been done for over two years. The verdict was pronounced after the media, NGO members, relatives of the complainant and the accused were asked to leave the courtroom.
The quantum of punishment will be specified at 2 pm Friday. Two among the five accused in the case, Mohammad Ali and main accused Kader Khan, are yet to be arrested.
Subhasish Roy, Suzette Jordan’s advocate, said the judge had passed the verdict relying on her deposition.
“It is her (Suzette’s) fearless attitude and belief which has paid off. Her character was also put to question by people holding important positions in society,” he said.
Reacting to the verdict, the victim’s father said: “Justice has finally been served, thanks to the efforts of the administration, judiciary, police and media. Had my daughter been alive, things would have been better.”
“Her soul will now rest in peace. But in spite of the verdict in our favour, I don’t think we will celebrate Christmas or New Year,” said Suzette’s grandmother.
Forty-five witnesses were examined during the trial that ran for over two years.
Speaking to the media in New Delhi, the CM called it a “good verdict”. Meanwhile, the family of the accused said they would challenge the judgment in the high court.
“It was fabricated from the word go. We will move the high court,” said Nazir Khan, brother of Kader and Naser.