Suzette Jordan

Suzette Jordan (21 October 1974 – 13 March 2015) was a prominent women's-rights activist and anti-rape campaigner from Kolkata, India.

Surviving gangrape in 2012Edit

On the evening of 6 February 2012, Jordan met 5 youth (Kader Khan, Md. Ali, Nasir Khan, Ruman Khan and Sumit Bajaj) for the first time at a nightclub in Park Street who offered to drop her home, when she was leaving. Soon after, she was gang-raped by the five in a moving car and later, dumped near Exide Crossing, opposite the Calcutta Club. Around 3.30 am, she boarded a taxi to her residence in Behala.[1]

Revealing her identityEdit

While the media and police initially ensured an information blackout of the victim's name, as is customary in India, she later publicly revealed her identity as 37 year old and a mother of two, in order to encourage other survivors to speak out.[2][3]

After revealing her identity, she said, "Why should I hide my identity when it was not even my fault? Why should I be ashamed of something that I did not give rise to? I was subjected to brutality, I was subjected to torture, and I was subjected to rape, and I am fighting and I will fight."[3][4] At the time of her death, three of the five men accused of raping Jordan inside a moving car had been arrested and were on trial, although they denied the charges. The remaining two, including the main suspect, had not been arrested.[5] The names of the accused are Mohommad Ali and Kader Khan (then the boyfriend Of Nusrat Jahan) who were absconding, and Nasir Khan, Ruman Khan (Ruman Khan alias Tussi) and Sumit Bajaj who were in custody.[6][7]

Outcome of caseEdit

One of the prime accused was Kadir Khan, the then boyfriend of Bengali television star Nusrat Jahan[8][9] who later went on to become a member of parliament from Basirhat. Khan was picked up by West Bengal Police from a hideout in Noida 5 years later.[10] As of 2020, he remains in prison.[citation needed]

The other accused, Naser Khan, Ruman Khan and Sumit Bajaj, were arrested in February 2012. On 10 December 2015, the city sessions court, Kolkata found all five of the accused guilty. The accused were convicted under 120 (B) (Criminal conspiracy), 506 (criminal intimidation), 323(Voluntarily Causing Hurt), 34(Common intention),376(2)(g)(Gang Rape). The three accused in custody (Naser, Ruman and Sumit) were sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment, months after the victim died of encephalitis.[11][12][13][14]

Four years after the incident, prime accused Kader Khan and Muhammad Ali were arrested on 30 September 2016 in Noida, brought back to Kolkata and produced before the court.[15][16] In mid-June, 2020, Sumit Bajaj was released 20-months before his sentence ended, for 'good behaviour'.[17]

Social impactEdit

The case was widely debated in the media, with some political and social commentators casting aspersions on Jordan's character, and quickly became a political issue.

 
Suzette Jordan with her cat

When Jordan originally reported the crime, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, called her a liar and accused her of trying to embarrass the government, a position that provoked national outrage.[5]

Later activismEdit

Jordan became a women's rights activist and briefly worked as a counsellor for a helpline for victims of sexual and domestic violence.[18] She spoke up against the humiliation and discrimination against victims, for instance when she was denied entry into a Kolkata restaurant. She made use of the media, appearing in a talk show, Satyamev Jayate hosted by actor Aamir Khan,[19] as well as through Facebook to highlight societal issues.[20]

Family life and deathEdit

Jordan had two daughters. On 13 March 2015, she died at the age of 40, of meningoencephalitis.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "All you need to know about the Park Street rape case". dnaindia.com. 10 December 2015. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Suzette Jordan: India anti-rape campaigner dies after illness". BBC News. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Park Street Rape Survivor Suzette Jordan, Who Took On Bengal Government, Dies". ndtv.com. NDTV www.ndtv.com. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  4. ^ Jha, Rupa (21 June 2013). "Why an India rape victim disclosed her identity". BBC News. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Park Street rape victim Suzette Jordan dies in Kolkata". us.india.com. Press Trust of India india.com. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  6. ^ Bandyopadhyay, Krishnendu (20 February 2012). "Good backgrounds, bad company". timesofindia.indiatimes.com. The Times of India. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  7. ^ "Brothers Khan fight rape charge". www.telegraphindia.com. Telegraph India. 21 February 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  8. ^ "Park Street rape case: Why influential Bengali actress not named in chargesheet ?". timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Bengali actor in rape controversy". deccanherald.com. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  10. ^ "Kader Khan, Prime accused in Park street gang rape case arrested after nearly five years". hindustantimes.com. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  11. ^ Mehta, Pooja (10 December 2015). "Park Street rape case: Three accused found guilty by Kolkata court". www.dnaindia.com. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  12. ^ Sen, Shreeja (10 December 2015). "Park Street rape case: Kolkata court finds three accused guilty". www.livemint.com. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  13. ^ Hebbar, Prajakta (10 December 2015). "Three Convicted In Kolkata Park Street Gangrape Case". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  14. ^ "Park Street rape case: Three convicts found guilty". business-standard.com. 10 December 2015. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  15. ^ "Kolkata Park Street rape case: Main accused Kader Khan arrested from Delhi". indiatoday.intoday.in. India Today. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  16. ^ "Park street gangrape: After four and a half years, prime accused Kader Khan nabbed". www.newindianexpress.com/. Indian Express. Archived from the original on 30 September 2016. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  17. ^ "Park Street gangrape convict released". timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  18. ^ Mohan, Shriya (3 July 2013). "How Do You Survive Being Named 'The Park Street Rape Victim'?". Yahoo News India in.news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  19. ^ "Fighting Rape – Salute the Brave". www.satyamevjayate.in. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  20. ^ Banerjee, Malini (1 October 2014). "Name and shame". indiatoday.intoday.in. Retrieved 26 June 2016.