KOLKATA, Dec 12, 2015:
A court in Kolkata jailed three men for 10 years on Friday for gang-raping a woman who waived her right to anonymity in order to challenge the stigma attached to victims of sex attacks in India.
Suzette Jordan, who died earlier this year of meningitis, won widespread praise for her decision to reveal her identity after authorities in the eastern city claimed she had fabricated the attack in February 2012.
A group of men had offered to drive Jordan home as the then 37-year-old was leaving a nightclub in the city’s upmarket Park Street area.
But they then forced her into their vehicle before proceeding to take turns in raping her and then dumping her on a road.
Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal state, initially dismissed the report of an attack as being part of a plot to discredit her administration after it had sparked protests.
But Jordan, who was a mother-of-two, then made what is an extremely rare decision in India to go public about what happened, telling interviewers she saw no reason to hide her identity when she had done nothing wrong.
Her move gave new impetus to the police investigation, eventually leading to the arrest of the three men — Naser Khan, Ruman Khan and Sumit Bajaj — who have now been jailed, although two other suspects remain at large.
Speaking after the sentencing at Kolkata’s sessions court, defence lawyer Asoke Bakshi told AFP that the three men planned to file an appeal.
There has been extensive soul-searching in India about the frightening levels of violence against women since an infamous gang-rape on a bus in Delhi in December 2012 in which the victim later died of her injuries.
Under Indian law, the identity of a rape victim cannot be revealed even after a victim’s death.