Minor’s gang rape: Absconding BSF men arrested, sent to custody

Kolkata, Jan 2 (IANS) Two BSF troopers, who were arrested from Assam for allegedly gang-raping a minor inside a moving train, were sent to judicial custody on Saturday by a West Bengal court, police said.

Initially suspected to be army men, the two accused — Balakram Yadav and Pankaj Kumar — of the Border Security Force, were arrested from Guwahati on Friday and handed over to the Howrah Government Railway Police (GRP) which is probing the case.

“The duo was arrested on Friday from the Guwahati airport on the basis of photographs circulated by us. Both the accused were brought here and presented before a court which remanded them in 14 days judicial custody,” a GRP officer told IANS.

“Since a test identification (TI) parade will be conducted for the victim to identify the accused, the duo has been remanded in judicial custody. The TI parade will be held shortly,” the officer added.

Attached to the BSF’s 168 battalion, currently based at Belonia in south Tripura, Yadav is a resident of Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh and Kumar is from Vaishali in Bihar.

The accused were about to catch a flight to Agartala, when personnel of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) apprehended them at the airport.

A GRP team flew to Guwahati on Friday night and brought them to Howrah on Saturday morning.

The 14-year-old girl, hailing from Dum Dum in North 24 Parganas district, was allegedly raped by the two troopers after she was forced to drink alcohol inside a reserved military compartment of the Howrah-Amritsar Express on December 27.

The girl, who boarded the train from Howrah on her way to Ludhiana, was rescued by GRP personnel at Madhupur station in Jharkhand the next day and also arrested an army man Manjrish Tripathi, who is now in police custody.

The girl was rescued after the GRP received a complaint from her father that she had fled home and boarded the train.

According to the family, the girl had left her house without informing anyone to meet a man in Ludhiana whom she had befriended on a social networking site.

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