June 14: A mother of two was dragged out of home in front of her husband who was held at knifepoint and raped repeatedly in front of him by two men from the locality for over an hour last night.
The accused sat right outside the house - in Bishnupur, on the southern fringe - after the crime and were smoking but the couple were too scared to shout for help.
It was when they tried to assault the woman a second time that the couple raised the alarm, alerting people in a wedding venue around 150m away.
The two- Netai Sardar, 28, and Piklu, 24 - were arrested this morning.
Police said one reason why the duo targeted the couple was the location of the house. The other reason was that the family had moved in just three days ago.
The single-storeyed house is at the far end of the village, surrounded on three sides by a field covered with knee-high grass.
The woman's husband, a driver by profession, mentioned in a complaint lodged with Bishnupur police station that he and his wife noticed around 11.20pm that the light outside their house had gone out.
"When he opened the door to enquire, he was confronted by a youth. In a swift move, the youth held a knife at the husband's throat. The other man threatened the husband that he would be killed if he raised the alarm and dragged the woman out of the house. The couple's two daughters - in their early teens - were sleeping," an officer of the police station said.
"The men raped the woman repeatedly. When one was assaulting the woman, the other was holding the husband at knifepoint."
The duo left around 12.30 am but the couple could not step out and scream for help as they were right outside the house, smoking.
"At times they were switching on the torch of their mobile phone and trying to peer into the room through the window. The window only had a curtain. We moved in just three days ago and were yet to do the necessary repairs," the husband said.
"While focusing the beam of their cellphone torch into the room, they kept threatening us that they would hurl bombs at us if we dared raise the alarm."
After some time, the attackers started banging on the door, which the couple had bolted from inside after the duo had left. "Our daughters woke up and started screaming. This time we decided to shout. Our screams alerted guests at a wedding venue nearby. The two youths fled on seeing people running towards our house," the husband recounted.
The woman told the rescuers that one of her attackers had a tattoo on his left arm and he was calling the other Piklu.
"We identified the man with tattoo as Netai Sardar, who lives in the same locality," said a neighbour. Piklu, who lives near Netai's house, was known to be his friend. Both are contract labourers.
The neighbours and the others who rushed to the couple's home then went to the houses of Netai and Piklu. None could be found.
"They returned home early today. We handed both to the police," said the neighbour, who did not want to be identified.
Netai's motorcycle was set on fire by angry neighbours.
Ramesh Naskar, a guest at the wedding venue who was in the team that ran to the couple's house, said they searched the grass field "thoroughly" for the duo but could not find them.