Protest in the streets of Howly in Barpeta, Assam
Protest in the streets of Howly in Barpeta, Assam

How an alleged rape and murder of a student in Bengaluru has sent shockwaves in Assam

A massive candlelight march was held in Howly in Barpeta district of Assam for the 20-year-old nursing student from Assam who was found dead in Bengaluru on December 16.

A group of residents and students' organisations, on Friday, took out a massive candlelight march in Howly in Assam's Barpeta district, the hometown of a 20-year-old nursing student in Bengaluru who was allegedly murdered in the city on Wednesday. The march, which was organised on Friday night after her funeral in Howly, was attended by hundreds of people seeking justice in the death of the student from the village in Assam. 

Those who took part in the march want the police in Bengaluru to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident. The victim had arrived in Bengaluru on December 14 just two days before her tragic death to complete her admission process in a nursing school. She was found dead in the residence of Anisur Rahman, a 21-year-old paramedical student who also hails from Assam. Anisur was arrested by the Bengaluru police on charges of rape and murder on Wednesday.  

The victim's father is a lab technician in a government hospital and her mother is a homemaker.  She left Assam, like many others in her village, for Bengaluru with the hope of a better education. Though the cause of death is yet to be ascertained, many people who TNM spoke to said that for those in the victim’s village, her death is a shocking reminder of how dreams can be cruelly cut short.

"We can’t believe that she is dead. We held a peaceful campaign seeking justice for her death. A detailed post-mortem investigation should be conducted and if the accused is guilty of rape and murder, the punishment should be stringent," Siraj Munir, who took part in the rally on Friday night, told TNM. Siraj added that the news of the alleged rape and murder had come as a shock to the residents of the district located northwest of Guwahati. 

The police complaint filed by Anisur's landlord states that the victim was unconscious and there was bleeding near her genitals when she was found. She was rushed to a hospital in Yelahanka by Anisur and his friends. "The cause of her death is not clear yet. The post-mortem report is yet to come out and it will determine whether she was raped," said a police official investigating the case. 

The victim's family and residents in her hometown in Barpeta urged the police to speed up the investigation and contended that the police were protecting the accused by not furnishing the post-mortem report. “We are asking for the investigation to be completed and justice to be served. This kind of situation is rare and we are worried that the police will close the case without a fair trial,” said a lawyer connected to the case.

The post-mortem is being conducted in Bengaluru's Victoria Hospital and a source in the hospital said that the delay in the report is because the hospital is short-staffed due to examinations for post-graduate medical students. The source added that there were no signs of struggle found on the victim's body and that the report should be out on Monday.

Anisur’s version

The accused Anisur is a friend of the victim's brother. According to the police, Anisur, in his statement to the officials, said that the victim was his girlfriend and that she started bleeding and fell unconscious when they were having sex. The police are tracking the victim's movements in Bengaluru from the time she arrived on Monday till the time she was found dead two days later. 

Two MPs from Assam — Abdul Khaleque of Congress and Badruddin Ajmal of All India United Democratic Front — wrote to Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa asking for a thorough investigation in the case and for justice to be expedited. 

"I  request the Karnataka government to take all the necessary action against the culprit and urge you to arrest all culprits as soon as possible. I request the government of Karnataka to take necessary action for the safety and security of all the other students and working professionals from Assam residing temporarily in the state," Abdul Khaleque said in a letter to the CM.

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