Bangladeshi student alleges rape by teacher; West Bengal women’s panel takes cognisance

The West Bengal Commission for Women received a complaint from the post-graduate student that the accused had raped her at her cabin at a private hospital

May 15, 2023 04:46 pm | Updated 04:46 pm IST - Kolkata

Image for representation purpose only. File

Image for representation purpose only. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The West Bengal Commission for Women on May 15 said it has taken note of allegations of rape and life threat levelled by a Bangladeshi student against a university professor in Paschim Bardhaman district.

It will recommend appropriate action if the allegations are found to be true after police investigation.

Commission chairperson Leena Gangopadhyay told PTI it has spoken to all concerned, including the complainant — a woman student residing in a hostel of the State-run Kazi Nazrul University near Asansol on Saturday.

The members of the commission recommended to the police that all the points referred to in the woman's complaint, including the alleged life threat sent to her by the accused via SMS, be examined.

Ms. Gangopadhyay said the commission received a complaint from the post-graduate student that the accused had raped her at her cabin at a private hospital where she had been admitted after her “death by suicide attempt” as their relationship had turned sour.

"Apart from our members who had met her personally, I have interacted with her more than once over the phone and heard her views.

"We have also been informed by her that when she lodged a complaint with police, she got a threat via SMS allegedly from the professor. We know that the accused was arrested and then got bail. We have nothing to comment about the judicial process, but will ensure that the complaints are investigated thoroughly by the police. If the charges are found to be true, the accused should be punished as per law," Ms. Gangopadhyay said.

The commission has spoken to all stakeholders to arrive at the truth, she said.

There are some inconsistencies in the alleged incident of rape at the nursing home and the claims of the university authorities, the chairperson of the commission said.

"We want to ensure the security of the girl student. We have sent certain recommendations to the police and university to see that no physical harm is done to her," she said.

A spokesperson of the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission said "We have received an official complaint from the student. We have forwarded the same to the university authorities and the police urging them to look into the issue, examine the complaint and take suitable action."

A university spokesperson told PTI that the student concerned has 18 months left to complete the course.

He said the university will extend all cooperation to the investigating authorities and take appropriate action if the charges are proven correct.

"As of now we don't have anything else to comment on the alleged incident," he said.

The name of the accused, who got anticipatory bail after lodging the complaint last week, was withheld as investigations were on.

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