Park Street rape survivor dies of encephalitis
The Park Street woman, who survived gang rape inside a moving car in Kolkata three years ago, died on Friday due to multiple organ failure after she was diagnosed with encephalitis, her counsel said.
Kolkata: The Park Street woman, who survived gang rape inside a moving car in Kolkata three years ago, died on Friday due to multiple organ failure after she was diagnosed with encephalitis, her counsel said.
"She was hospitalised a few days back, and was diagnosed with encephalitis. She suffered multiple organ failure and died today (Friday) morning," her counsel A Guha Thakurta said.
The 40-year-old from the Anglo-Indian community is survived by two daughters.
Coming out of a night club in Park Street, she was allegedly raped at gun point inside a moving car in February 2012 and later thrown out.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had courted controversy after she dubbed the incident as "fabricated".
However, police subsequently cracked the case and arrested most of the attackers.
While five persons have been charged with the offence by the court, only three are behind bars. Two others, including the prime suspect, are on the run and remain untraced.
Counsel said her demise will not affect the trial, which is at concluding stages.
"Her deposition in the case is complete. She had been examined and cross-examined at the court and her sad demise will not have any bearing on the trial. It is really unfortunate that after fighting all odds she has left us at a time when justice is about to be delivered," added Thakurta.
Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha member Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, too, had cast aspersions on her character, describing the incident to be "sex deal gone wrong".
The MP later tendered an apology after the West Bengal Human Rights Commission took cognizance of her comments which she had made to a TV channel in December 2012.
Unwilling to be described as the `Park Street rape victim`, the woman revealed her identity in 2013 and marched on streets of Kolkata to protest a series of rapes and murders in the state.
Members of the civil society and women activists hailed the survivor for her indomitable spirit.
"Her untimely death is unfortunate but she will forever be remembered for her indomitable spirit. Despite the chief minister calling it a fabricated case, she continued her fight," activist Bolan Ganguly said.
"She is no more but she will always continue to be a source of inspiration for the society," West Bengal Commission for Women chairperson Sunanda Mukherjee said.