TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee had announced the list of names of TMC candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections yesterday. Among the names were some prominent ones of certain Tollywood celebrities and popular figures in West Bengal. Actress Nusrat Jahan has been listed as the TMC candidate for the Basirhat Lok Sabha seat.
While veteran Bengali actress and TMC MP Moon Moon Sen have been fielded against BJP’s Babul Supriyo, Nusrat Jahan and another actress, Mimi Chakraborty will contest from the Basirhat and Jadavpur seats respectively.
The announcement of Nusrat Jahan’s name has sparked discussions in the social media about the infamous Park Street rape case of Kolkata. One of the main accused in the infamous case, Kader Khan, was reportedly Nusrat Jahan’s longtime boyfriend. Nusrat was also accused of shielding him and lying to the police about his whereabouts. But, as pointed out in the Times Of India report from 2016, Nusrat was curiously not named by the police in the charge sheet.
A woman named Suzette Jordan was offered a lift outside a Park Street, Kolkata night club by 5 men and was gang-raped by them inside the moving car on the night of 5 February 2012. The 5 accused were Kader Khan, Md Ali, Sumeet Bajaj, Ruman Khan, and Nasir Ali.
After much controversy and politicisation, 3 of the accused were arrested and the trial began. Jordan had volunteered to reveal her identity and had become a prominent women’s rights activist before dying of meningoencephalitis in a government hospital in 2015.
Kader Khan was absconding and was finally arrested four years later, in September 2016, from Greater Noida. The role of Kader’s then-girlfriend and Tollywood actress Nusrat Jahan was highlighted after his arrest. Reportedly, Jahan was in close contact with Kader Khan after the rape. Upon questioning by the police Nusrat had denied meeting Kader at the hotel room which was booked in their name.
As per reports, when the police raided a hotel in Mumbai just after Nusrat’s interrogation, it was found that it was booked by Nusrat and Kader for a day. After that Nusrat had returned to Kolkata and had booked tickets for Kader to travel to Patna. However, she had denied meeting him. Several lawyers and activists had demanded that she should have been charged for sheltering and helping a rape accused, but Jahan was not even named by the police in their charge sheet.
Mamata Banerjee had sparked outrage when she had dismissed the Park Street rape case as a ‘fabricated case’. Another female TMC leader, Kakoli Ghose Dastidar had stated that it was not a rape at all, but a case of “misunderstanding between a woman and her client”.
Such was Mamata’s wrath against the Park Street case was that she had even clamped down on a Bengali movie that had a storyline resembling the incident. Even Ranjit Pachnanda, the then Kolkata city police commissioner, had stated that the rape allegation was a “Campaign to malign the police and the government”.
Damayanti Sen, a female IPS office who was Kolkata’s first joint commissioner of police, was the person who cracked the case and stayed on a single-minded pursuit that eventually saw the culprits being sentenced. Even after the CM, politicians and several top bureaucrats had attempted to dismiss the case as fabrication, Sen had stayed on her pursuit and had identified the culprits. It was revealed later that Suzette was raped at gunpoint. Damayanti Sen was in turn, sacked from her post and sent to an ‘inferior’ post as the DIG (Training) at Barackpore.