West Bengal Women Narrate Horror Stories Of Violence After TMC Win In Petitions To Supreme Court

West Bengal Women Narrate Horror Stories Of Violence After TMC Win In Petitions To Supreme CourtBJP President J P Nadda meets the family of a BJP worker killed in post-poll violence in West Bengal.  (JP Nadda/Twitter)
Snapshot
  • The women victims of post-poll violence by TMC cadres have approached the Supreme Court seeking SIT probe into all incidents and the inaction of the police

After the ruling All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) party recaptured power in West Bengal, there were attacks on the persons deemed to be workers as well as voters of the principal Opposition Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).

The victims accused the mainstream media of turning a blind eye to the plight of people who suffered brutal violence at the hands of TMC cadre.

BJP national president JP Nadda had claimed that the violence after the polls by TMC cadres had forced around 80,000 to abandon their homes in the state.

Now, the women victims of the violence have approached the Supreme Court of India (SC) seeking SIT probe into all incidents of violence and the inaction of the police, reports TOI.

The victims have cited post-Godhra communal riots cases in Gujarat and sought a similar court-monitored SIT probe into gangrapes and murders that went on with impunity for over 15 days after TMC’s victory.

A 60-year-old woman shared her ordeal. She said that a BJP leader had won from her constituency. On the intervening night of 3 May, a mob of 100-200 TMC workers ran amuck in her village in Purba Medinipur. They surrounded her house too and threatened to bomb it.

The next day, TMC workers barged into her house , ransacked it, and stole all the valuables. They then tied her down to the cot and she was gangraped repeatedly till she passed out. Her six-year-old grandson was forced to witness the crime. She was discovered in an unconscious state by the neighbours next day, and then taken to the district hospital.

She further stated that when her son-in-law went to file an FIR against the perpetrators, the police refused to listen to him. She eventually was able to file a complaint, but the police only named one person despite her naming all the five accused and the medical report confirming the rape.

TMC workers used rape as a weapon to take revenge, humiliate, and silence political rivals in the state during the post-poll violence, she said.

A 17-year-old girl from the SC community also moved the Supreme Court in the pursuit of justice against the TMC workers who gangraped her. She requested the court to shift her trial outside the state, and institute a SIT/CBI inquiry.

The minor informed the court that she was dragged into a forest by TMC workers, and gangraped, and left there to die. The next day, a local TMC leader Bahadur SK came to her home and threatened the family members that he will burn down their house and kill all of them if they filed a police complaint.

She said she was being kept in a Child Welfare Home and even her parents are not allowed to meet her.

“Such has been the conduct of the local police/administration that instead of sympathising with the minor victim and her family members, the police are pressurising them, even threatening them, saying that their other daughter might face a similar fate,” the court was told.

Purnima Mondal's husband Dharama Mondal, a campaigner for BJP, was brutally murdered by TMC workers led by a local elected representative Kaalu Sheikh.

She told the SC that she saw her husband being hacked to death by the perpetrators right in front of her. They also attacked her brother-in-law, and eventually, her. She was disrobed, groped, and assaulted. The perpetrators also tried to rape her as she fought back.

When they went to lodge a complaint, the police pressurised them against it, and eventually filed a weak complaint devoid of substance. The elected representative was left out of the complaint, and so was the rape attempt.

When the woman tried to make a detailed complaint at the police station, the police refused to record it despite her being an eye-witness, and a victim herself. She was abused, threatened, and forced out of the police station.

The petition to the SC by the aforementioned 60-year-old gangrape victim stated:

“..never have such cruel crimes been committed on a woman citizen for her or her family’s participation in the democratic process. Not only were the said crimes facilitated by the inaction of the state authorities/police, but what was shocking is the post-crime humiliation that the rape-survivors were subjected to, for their perceived audacity in reporting the crime.

Also read: Explained: How Violence Against Opposition Of The Day Became An Organic Part Of Politics In Bengal

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