KOLKATA: An Irish woman doing voluntary service with a city-based NGO has accused a 25-year-old businessman of raping her in his south Kolkata home after the two partied together at a nightclub on Park Street.
The alleged rape took place early on June 1 after a night-long birthday party the 21-year-old woman had thrown for her friends and acquaintances at the nightclub, which happens to be the same one from where the Park Street rape victim was abducted and assaulted in a car by five men last February.
Based on the woman’s complaint filed at Kalighat police station, Sujay Mitra (25) was arrested on Saturday. Mitra, who studied hotel management in the US, now looks after his father’s electronic goods business in the city. While police say he befriended the Irish woman through a common friend and was invited to the party on May 31, Mitra’s lawyer says he knew her while in the US but the two had met in the city for the first time.
The woman, who stays in a hotel on AJC Bose Road, told the police she had offered to drop Mitra home on SP Mukherjee Road in a cab after the party got over. When the two arrived at his plush residence around 6.45am, Mitra allegedly asked her to come in for a cup of tea. She readily agreed. But she felt drowsy, having partied through the night, and, after drinking tea, passed out in Mitra’s bedroom, according to the police complaint.
The woman has accused Mitra of raping her while she was in a semi-conscious state. The young businessman, according to the complaint, was drunk. The woman also suspects he was under the influence of drugs. But since she was herself groggy, she says she can’t clearly remember what happened. “I am not sure if he tried to have sex with me when I fell asleep. But I found my vagina very swollen,” she told the police in her statement.
The traumatized woman returned to her central Kolkata hotel around 7.30am, according to hotel records. She wasn’t sure if she should go to the police, but says some friends advised her to file a complaint. She eventually did so on Saturday evening. Mitra was arrested around 11pm from his residence. On Sunday afternoon, he was taken to court, which put him in police remand till June 5.
Test does not confirm rape
A medical test was conducted on the woman at SSKM Hospital on Sunday morning. It didn’t confirm rape but found a few minor injury marks on her back. The woman has been asked to appear before a magistrate to record her statement. Ireland’s honorary consul in Kolkata M K Jalan said the woman was yet to lodge a complaint.
Mitra’s lawyer Dibyendu Bhattacharya opposed the police remand, saying the woman herself wasn’t sure if she had been raped. “It was while Mitra was doing his management in USA that they came in contact through a common friend. They, however, met only in Kolkata. My client is a patient of pancreatitis and is not permitted to consume alcohol, leave alone drugs. He is innocent,” Bhattacharya said.
Mitra, who had been working in the US till about nine months ago, returned to India after his visa expired. He is apparently due to return to the US soon. The police said they had sought Mitra’s custody for a medical test to determine if she was indeed suffering from an ailment.
The woman arrived in the city from Darjeeling on May 23. She has a six-month visa and wanted to do voluntary service with the Kolkata-based children’s organization.