A 17-year-old tribal girl was stripped, beaten and forced to walk nude for 8km across three villages with hundreds of men molesting her along the way and taking videos on their mobiles.
It was a shocking reminder of the Guwahati incident in November 2007 when a teenager was stripped and molested by a mob during an ethnic clash. An MMS clipping of the Birbhum girls ordeal is now doing the rounds under the name 'Adibasi girl'. And it is this footage that is finally getting the victim some justice.
According to sources, the girls fault was that she loved a boy from another community. Police were shocked to learn that the panchayats and other local bodies knew of the incident but hadn't bothered to inform the administration.
The incident happened four months ago but the girl was too traumatized to go to the authorities. It is only when the administration came to know of the MMS that police swung into action on their own and arrested five of the culprits on Sunday.
Some frames in the video are, too, horrific to watch. The girl has a dazed, dead look on her face as she staggers along dusty dirt tracks. A jeering crowd of tribals follows her, beating drums and thrashing her with sticks whenever she stops. Little boys throw stones at her. She takes the blows, defenceless, as she uses her arms in a futile attempt to protect her honour. Men pounce on her, pull her arms apart and molest her amid laughter as the drums beat up a frenzy.
This torture went on for hours in broad daylight, in the scorching heat of April. The footage shows just 11 minutes of it. On Saturday, some journalists showed the clipping to SP Humayun Kabir a