News Brief

Another Kangaroo Court Trial By TMC Worker Leads To Woman's Death By Suicide, BJP Calls Out Lawlessness In West Bengal

Swarajya Staff

Jul 03, 2024, 01:20 PM | Updated 01:20 PM IST

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the state secretariat
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the state secretariat

A homemaker in the Phulbari area of West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district died by suicide on 29 June after being tried for alleged adultery in a kangaroo court called by local villagers.

Four people, including Swapna Adhikari, a local Trinamool Congress (TMC) worker have been arrested according to police.

The victim's husband has claimed that both he and his wife were thrashed at the kangaroo court held while there was no police intervention. He stated that his wife consumed pesticide shortly after being humiliated and beaten.

Shambu Roy, the local TMC Panchayat member Malati Roy’s husband, defended the villagers, saying the deceased had previously eloped and the locals did not want her in the village upon her return. He described the assault by local women as “natural.”

This defense attracted opposition criticism, while Malati Roy asserted she was unaware of the kangaroo trial, being occupied in a local club meeting.

Following the arrest of TMC worker Tajimul Islam in North Dinajpur district’s Chopra for caning a man and a woman at a roadside kangaroo court, this event has further intensified criticism of Mamata Banerjeel-ed dispensation from the opposition parties.

This incident marks the sixth occurrence in Bengal since 22 June where public trials have resulted in deaths.

Other instances include a 23-year-old man beaten to death over theft suspicion in Hooghly district's Tarakeswar on Sunday. Similar occurrences happened in Kolkata on 28 June, Salt Lake on 29 June, Jhargram district on 22 June (with the injured victim dying in hospital on 30 June), and Pandua in Hooghly district on 27 June.

Most victims were attacked over theft suspicions, except in Pandua where a dispute over loudspeakers led to violence.

BJP state general secretary Agnimitra Paul highlighted these incidents as evidence of Bengal's lawlessness and the lack of safety for women.

In response, TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh pointed to similar incidents in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh and emphasised that Bengal’s police and administration have taken necessary actions.

Alapan Bandopadhyay, chief advisor to CM Mamata Banerjee, has announced that the government would compensate each lynching victim’s family with Rs 2 lakh and employ a family member as a home guard.

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