Students protest in Goreswar in Baksa district on Tuesday. Picture by UB Photos
Kokrajhar/Tezpur, Aug. 25: Assam police today started a probe into the rape of a 13-year-old inside a bus in Baksa district on Saturday evening.
Though the incident took place on Saturday, it came to light after the All Adivasi Students' Association of Assam (AASAA) lodged a case with the police last evening.
According to information available with the police, the girl who worked as a domestic help at Gachbari in Baksa, on Saturday morning fled and took an Adabari-bound bus, "Pallab" (bearing registration number AS-01 EC-4207).
Baksa superintendent of police Mojibur Rahman said the medical examination of the victim was conducted today at Nalbari civil hospital and the report is expected in the next few days.
Mushalpur, the district headquarters of Baksa, is around 128km from Guwahati. The village is 60km from Mushalpur.
She boarded the bus around 7.30am. On reaching Adabari around two-and-a-half hours later, she was told by the driver and his handyman that she need not get down as they would drop her at her village in Sonitpur district. She believed them. After the bus reached Uporkhuti in Baksa district in the evening, the driver and his assistant raped her inside the bus, a source said.
The next morning, the girl escaped and informed the villagers of nearby Atrighat. Sources said the victim is from Sonitpur district and her mother had left her to work as a domestic help in the house of one Kareswar Boro of Gachbari village in Baksa on August 16.
'The girl did not like the place. She took the bus and fled on Saturday morning," a neighbour of the Boros said.
The girl and the AASAA# who is now sheltering her, have filed separate FIRs at Suwagpur police station. Suwagpur is about 60km from Mushalpur.
According to Rafael Kujur, former president of the association, the girl was on her way home from Guwahati and took the same bus from Adabari around 2pm on Saturday.
Kujur said the driver and his assistant stopped the bus near Atrighat after reaching Goreswar, the last stop and committed the crime.
"She escaped early morning and went to nearby Atrighat village. The villagers and the Atrighat unit of the AASAA helped the victim," Kujur said.
The police have identified the bus. Its driver Bate Ali and his assistant Rabul Ali are absconding, the police said. No arrest has been made so far in this regard.
The inspector-general of police (law and order) S.N. Singh, told The Telegraph that the rape took place inside the bus. He said the driver and his assistant are the prime suspects and the police have already started an investigation. "The accused will be arrested soon," Singh said.
The AASAA and the All Bodo Students' Union have condemned the incident and demanded a high-level probe and immediate arrests and punishment of the culprits involved in the crime.
The association's acting president Pradip Nag too demanded an exemplary punishment to the culprits.
Today, different organisations took out a rally and staged a dharna at Goreswar in Baksa district and demanded arrest and punishment of the culprits.