Kolkata police find holes in rape case; Mamata says cooked up
As the Kolkata police said there were "certain technical discrepancies" in the rape complaint filed by an Anglo-Indian woman, a state minister questioned the morality of the woman and alleged that the complaint was fabricated to extort money.
West Bengal Chief Miniter Mamata Banerjee has termed the incident as "cooked up".
The woman, a mother of two and former call centre employee, has alleged she was raped on the night of Feb 5. The police complaint was filed Feb 9, when the victim underwent a medical examination. She has accused Lavi Gidwani and four others of raping her.
"It is an attempt to criticise the police and the government. The police are taking all action to find out the truth," Commissioner of Police R.K. Pachnanda said briefing the media.
He also rubbished the claims of police inaction. "There was no police inaction. Immediately after the case was registered on Feb 9, the police acted and several persons named Sharafat Ali, the name given by the complainant, were identified by the police."
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Damayanti Sen said the accused including Gidwani were not present at the place of occurrence.
"Till now as per their (accused) statements and the evidence available it seems that the persons (accused) were not present at the place of occurrence � But it is too early to say that until further investigations conclusively prove that," said Sen.
"It is a serious allegation. We are probing it. But the entire thing is not yet clear to us," she said.
A highly placed police officer said Gidwani is in Canada and his father has produced all documents to prove it.
Later a Bengali news channel showed Gidwani saying he was in Canada on the date of the alleged crime.
"I was preparing for my upcoming exams on the day. I am still in Canada," Gidwani told the channel on phone. He also confirmed that the two persons detained by the police in this connection were his friends.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addressing the media at the state secretariat had claimed the entire matter was 'cooked up with a view to malign the government'.
Trinamool Congress leader and Sports Minister Madan Mitra while talking to a TV channel questioned the morality of the woman and alleged that the complaint was fabricated to extort money.
"She has two children and so far as I know she is separated from her husband. What was she doing at a night club so late in the night?
"As far as I am concerned, based on the documentary proof that I have, I think it is a fabricated complaint made to extort money," Mitra added.
The police have initiated a probe into allegations of the woman and one of her relatives that some policemen had misbehaved with them at the Park Street police station when she went to lodge a complaint.
The police also denied that they were trying to prove the victim wrong.