In 1990, Kolkata and whole India were rocked by a most sensational news that shook every heart including mine. The mere news of the crime shook us so much that almost instantly decided the punishment. Only to know very recently that we were all fooled.
Research on Dhananjoy Death Sentence
The truth behind sensational Hetal Parekh Rape (?) and Murder, 1990 which was so far concealed in the research papers of National Law University, Hyderabad and in some independent research done by Indian Statistical Institution, Kolkata (details on this website) but hidden from general public, is finally out to public in the form of a Bengali movie, Dhananjoy. (ধনঞ্জয়). This movie named after the accused in the case Dhananjoy Chatterjee, who was later found as ‘guilty’ by three Indian courts including a High Court and the Supreme Court, and was given death penalty based on ‘circumstantial evidence’ and on some self-contradictory statements of the witnesses.
2004 – Dhananjoy’s Statement
When Dhananjoy. (ধনঞ্জয়) was hanged in 2004, his statement to his executioner Nata Mallick just before his execution was in newspapers –
“আমি কিছু করি নাই, আমি গরিব বলে আজ আমাকে ফাঁসি দেওয়া হলো। তুমি তোমার কাজ কারো।“
“I have not done anything. I am being hanged today because I am poor. You do your job.”
I remember those days of my life in Kolkata clearly now. Then I was a typical feminist (may be under the influence of leftist Bengali media) who was completely into believing media reports, in-spite of seeing first-hand how leading Bengali Newspapers published blatant lies and their own stories in a suicide case in my Engineering College.
Media on Hetal Parekh Murder
In Hetal Parekh case too, media and women organizations have made us believe in stories they had created, stories that didn’t have any justification. Unfortunately for Dhananjay. (ধনঞ্জয়), this blog or Indian MRM didn’t exist at that time and I was a feminist who believed like any other convict, he was telling lies.
ISI Research on Dhananjoy Death Sentence
Two ISI Kolkata professors, Prof. Debasis Sengupta and Probal Chaudhuri in their research paper detailed out the chain of events of the case as stated by the prosecution. Hetal Parekh was said to be murdered between 5:20 to 5:50 PM on 5th March 1990 allegedly by Dhananjoy. (ধনঞ্জয়), it is indeed a matter of concern that all three courts believed that Dhananjay. (ধনঞ্জয়) had left 21 injury marks on the victim, allegedly raped her (but without any semen traces), murdered her by asphyxiation and strangulation (post mortem report stated “asphyxiation with strangulation” that needed presence of multiple persons), stolen valuables from the house, calmly responded to a call from downstairs from the flat (but nobody heard victims’ shouts when she was being raped and murdered) and then come down properly dressed using stairs while no one noticed the torn third button of his shirt or any blood stains on his shirt, like a superhuman being within just 30 minutes.
During cross-examination, the prosecution has also brought a theory that he might have removed his clothes while raping and murdering Hetal but that could not explain how a button of the shirt could tear off (as the prosecution claimed) or what the victim was doing while he was undressing. A theory that victim might be already dead when she was being raped also came up. But the absence of Dhananjay’s semen sample in deceased persons’ vaginal swab or absence of his pubic hair samples in her lower body was never discussed in any court while proving the theory of rape. This also couldn’t explain why all 21 injury marks on the victims’ body were on the upper part of the body and none was found to be on the lower part when the victim was supposed to be brutally assaulted and then raped. A detailed observation of fallacies in post-mortem report and various media and police statements can be found here.
In their paper, Sengupta and Chaudhuri not only brought discrepancies in eyewitness’ statements but also raised serious questions about the way forensic tests were done. Media reports and then police authorities have claimed immediately after the incident that it was a rape and murder even without any forensic examination. Media later ‘confirmed’ that forensic report stated ‘rape’ while all it stated was ‘sexual activity’ that didn’t mean rape (but media confirmed that as rape with police and leftist leaders), it could be a consensual sexual activity with her boyfriend as well.
Stories on Dhananjoy’s Behaviour
Prosecution of this case had also manufactured a story that Dhananjoy used to ‘tease’ Hetal and so her brother had complained to the security agency and they had already issued transfer letter to Dhananjoy from the date of the gruesome murder. But the alleged transfer order was received by police only after four months of the incident. Also, the security agency that paid wages to their guards didn’t have such transfer policies and such things never appeared in any media report until two days of the murder. It was also unlikely that Hetal would open the door (equipped with an eyehole) of her flat to such a person who teased her over a period of time (and who was supposed not to be in that flat due to his ‘transfer’) when she was alone in her flat.
A major miss in all trials was the detection of about 100 grams of undigested food in Hetal’s stomach. With forensic experts confirming that undigested food could be a major evidence to determine the time of Hetal’s death which was between 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm when her mother was present in the house and no one else.
Hetal Parekh – Honour Killing
With a strong indication towards honor killing of Hetal Parekh by her stoutly built mother after discovering her sexual activity with someone earlier that day, could have led to a completely different outcome of the case and brought the angle of honor killing. Hetal’s mother left for Mumbai within one week of the murder and consistently refused to appear before the court until the time court gave only two-hour notice to her for appearance. Her statement to the court was full of contradictions from earlier stories. The serial number of the costly watch that was allegedly stolen by Dhananjay was never matched to find out the date of purchase or other important details (like summoning important witnesses in court) that could have saved an innocent person like Dhananjoy from being killed by the media, police, women NGOs and our legal system, a powerful clout that had beheaded justice with Dhananjay Chatterjee’s death sentence, and made him immortal instead.
The paper also discussed how different courts have punished Dhananjay. It came out in their study that the presumption of guilt was so much on him that his lawyer didn’t defend him at all. Dhananjoy being from the poorest of the poor family of Bankura district in West Bengal, couldn’t pay lawyer fees and hence the lawyer lost interest in this case. He didn’t cross-examine the witnesses properly or asked him to give unsupported statements before the court, which resulted in further casting doubt on him.
In their report, the researchers found, “In the absence of any coherent alternative theory, each inconsistency was viewed separately and ignored. It was as if everyone knew Dhananjoy had committed the crime, and they did their bit to set right the inconsistencies for the sake of justice”.
Dhananjoy Death Sentence – Justice or Political Force
It is pertinent to note the then left ruled political environment in Bengal. When Dhananjay’s mercy petition was pending, the then WB Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya said he would resign if Dhananjoy was not hanged, his wife held a state-wide rally for the death sentence. This theory of rape (when there was none) was kept alive by the leftist groups for a purpose, they didn’t want to lose their Gujrati vote bank in the city.
Where Dhananjoy Stands Out
The movie Dhananjoy. (ধনঞ্জয়) bared open all shortcomings of Indian judicial system. Here courts see only what they are shown as if the judges have no mind or brain. If lawyers fail to show a different perspective of a case, our courts’ can’t find them. Question is, then why do we need educated and especially honorable people in these positions? Why not mere idiots man these positions when all the work of justice needs to be done by only the well-paid advocates or the victims themselves? What is the use of legal aid system that is supposed to guarantee justice for the poor and deprived section of the population who can’t afford to pay lawyer fees? Our sense of crime being very gender-specific, very often we end up finding a criminal in poor and deprived males, we systematically snatch all their rights and push them to unforeseen misery by convicting them even before a court trial.
Even though the movie Dhananjoy. (ধনঞ্জয়) starts with a disclaimer that the movie is a pure work of fiction and any resemblance to any person either dead or alive is mere coincidence, the people knowledgeable in such matters already know the realities. So far the truth was hidden under the carpet of politically correct environment where none dared to speak up in mainstream media.
Dhananjoy – Cast, and Crew
Making a mainstream, a commercial movie based on research work done on the matter is a very bold step by the Director – Arindam Sil and Producer – Srikant Mehta. They had indeed invited trouble for them. Already Mr. Arindam Sil is reminded in such a letter that “he has a daughter”. Question is, why is the parent of a daughter be reminded that one has a daughter? What does it mean? Does it mean women or anyone having a daughter should not speak up against such crimes openly? Does it mean, anyone bringing a theory of rape anywhere should not be even properly investigated and just to be believed at face value?
Leftist feminists have been demanding immediate execution of rape accused ever since this case has surfaced. It should scare everyone in the society that anyone for their criminal motive can accuse anybody of rape and then the media and social trial based on some ‘manufactured evidence’ will convict the person even before trial.
Koushik Sen and Mimi Chakraborty who acted in the movie also need special mention here for their superb acting as lawyers who wanted to reopen the case and bring justice. The scriptwriters of the film also did excellent work in debunking all claims successfully with objective evidence and logical reasoning and Mimi Chakraborty and Kaushik Sen did their best to present those evidence unemotionally.
The reason this movie is significantly praiseworthy effort in Tollywood is both Kaushik Sen and Arindam Sil is known for their left alignment. This is also significant because the movie wanted to debunk a highly established and sensational rape and murder case of the ‘90s which can only be termed as India’s first Nirbhaya case. It is also pertinent to note that this happened in Kolkata, a well-known leftist feminist stronghold without any involvement of MRAs.
Currently, this movie has created a sensation in Bengal and potentially stand a chance of being banned as well. It questions too many things in leftist Bengal. A political and powerful clout of Parekh family, that included prominent police officers of Kolkata police headquarters, led to hush up of the reality and manufacturing a new crime story. Now feminists are trying to use Dhananjay’s Family (details here) claiming that they have ‘expressed’ displeasure over releasing the movie. According to the report in The Indian Express, the family wanted to be left alone.
But the claim, that Dhananjay’s family felt cheated by the release of the film raises suspicion as no family would do that unless they are threatened for some reason. A poor villager’s family, who don’t have anything to protect themselves, any one of whom can easily be coerced to say or do anything under pressure and hence we can’t believe in such claims.
Dhananjoy – No More A Family Matter
Now it is no more a personal matter of Dhananjay’s family. The case has earned much more significance because it is an example of a botched up investigation, media trial, and execution of a completely innocent person. Dhananjoy does not belong to his family anymore, he belongs to all of us who care for bringing back justice in our courtrooms. It is a war for our survival, for our future, for a better tomorrow. Yes, we seek this case to be reopened and all those guilty of dual murder (Hetal Parekh and Dhananjay Chatterjee) be punished.
For other movie reviews, see – here