Park Street rape survivor Suzette Jordan dies


Park Street rape survivor Suzette Jordon, 40, who left behind her brutal experience to turn an activist for women’s issues, died here after a brief illness on Friday. Ms. Jordon had been admitted to a State-run hospital with meningo-encephalitis. She is survived by two teenage daughters.

“The scar will never heal, but all I can ask for is justice,” Ms. Jordon often used to say.

In February 2012, she was allegedly raped in a moving car on Park Street in an upscale area of the city. She had to go through three tormenting years as many raised questions about the veracity of her version. While she brushed aside the snide remarks by police officers when she went to file a complaint, she stood her ground even when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee described it as Sajano Ghatana (a fabricated incident).

“She had fought a long battle. Now when the trial of the case has reached its final stages, she passed away. It is so sad that she did not see it through,” her counsel, Anirban Guha Thakurta, told The Hindu. The death would not affect the outcome of the case, as she had completed her deposition before the trial court, he said.

While explaining the challenges of being a single mother and how her daughters were treated differently in school, she once narrated to The Hindu the daily difficulties she faced.

“Once I was standing at a bus stand in the city when a stranger approached me and asked if I was the Park Street girl. I was taken aback and tears rolled down my cheeks,” Ms. Jordon said.

Some months ago, she was denied entry to a restaurant for being the “Park Street rape survivor.” Last July, she had to file a complaint with the cyber cell of the Kolkata Police alleging that her pictures were morphed and posted on the Internet with derogatory comments.

She had to defend allegations made by Trinamool Congress MP Kakuli Ghosh Dastidar that the rape was actually a “sex deal gone wrong.” A hurt Ms. Jordon wondered how “an educated, empowered woman, who has been elected to Parliament, can make such remarks.”

In June 2013, nearly 15 months after the incident, Ms. Jordon decided to reveal her identity. She appeared on television, and from a rape survivor, she became Suzette Jordon, activist.

Since then, she took to the streets on several occasions against atrocities on women in the State.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 5:57:40 AM |

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