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Tore saree, removed underwear, paraded naked: West Bengal BJP candidate alleges Manipur-like ordeal in FIR, police say no evidence of such incident

BJP has slammed Mamata Banerjee for selectively speaking about the Manipur incident but conveniently ignoring a similar case from West Bengal.

On Thursday (July 20), a BJP gram sabha candidate in West Bengal informed that she was physically assaulted, stripped and paraded naked by workers of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) party during the panchayat elections.

As per a report by ANI, the incident took place on July 8, 2023, in Dakshin Panchla in the Howrah district of West Bengal. In her official complaint filed with the Panchla police, the victim narrated that the assault was carried out by TMC gram sabha candidate Hemanta Roy at the polling station.

She further added that Roy was accompanied by other 40-50 TMC workers, including Noor Alam, Sanju Das, Ranabir Panja, Sukamal Panja, Alfi Sk. The copy of the First Information Report (FIR), as reported by Republic TV, read, “They hit me on my chest, and head with sticks and pushed me out of the polling booth.”

The victim pointed out that the TMC gram sabha candidate instigated party workers such as Sukamal Panja and Ali Sheikh to tear her saree and inner dress. “They further assaulted me and forced me to undress naked and molested me in front of other people,” she emphasised.

The development came amid public outrage over a viral video from Manipur wherein two women were gang-raped and paraded naked by a mob of men.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has slammed Mamata Banerjee for selectively speaking about the Manipur incident but conveniently ignoring a similar case from West Bengal.

In a tweet, BJP spokesperson Amit Malviya said, “Do you have any shame at all Mamata Banerjee? On 8th Jul 2023, the day of the Panchayat poll, a Gram Sabha candidate, a woman, was beaten, stripped naked and paraded in Howrah’s Panchla, stones throw away from Nabanno, where you sit.”

“Your police wasn’t even taking FIR till the BJP forced it down. Hemanta Roy, TMC candidate from the same Gram Sabha, along with other criminals like Alfi Sk, Sukamal Panja, Ranabir Panja, Sanju Das, Noor Alam and 40-50 other men, hit her on chest, tore her saree and pulled off her inner wear, before parading her naked,” he added.

“You, as Home Minister of West Bengal, were expected to uphold law and order, instead you chose to prevaricate… Trust me, the world is a better place without your broken heart, outrage and fake concern for justice. You are a failed Chief Minister. Please focus on Bengal…” Amit Malviya concluded.

Police say no such incident was found

The West Bengal police have said that they could not find any proof that the alleged incident took place. Talking to the media, West Bengal DGP M Malaviya said that after the FIR was registered, the police launched an investigation. He said that after the probe, till now they could not find any evidence that such an incident took place.

The DGP said that there was a significant presence of central armed forces in the state including the booth there the alleged incident took place. He added that on polling day most people come out of their houses and gather near polling booths and on the streets, and these days most people carry mobile phones. Despite that, no civilian reported any such incident, and the central forces also didn’t report it. There is no video of the incident and nothing was found on CCTV footage in the area, he added. The police received the complaining by email on the 13th, he said.

The police officer said that the police has contacted the victim to give evidence of the alleged incident like any injury and medical treatment done etc. He added that the leader of the opposition had visited the concerned police station and a BJP fact-finding team had visited the Howrah rural area after the polls, but even they didn’t report any such incident.

Violence in West Bengal during Panchayat polls

The panchayat elections held on July 8 in West Bengal were marred by widespread violence across the state. Reports emerged of booth capturing, damage to ballot boxes, and attacks on presiding officers from districts such as Murshidabad, Behar, Malda, South 24 Parganas, North Dinajpur, and Nadia.

Tragically, the violence resulted in the loss of over 50 lives and numerous injuries. The State Election Commission had established a total of 61,636 polling stations for conducting elections to 3,317-gram panchayats, 341 panchayat samitis, and 20 zila parishads in West Bengal.

To ensure the safe conduct of elections, 59,000 personnel from the Central Armed Police Forces and other state police forces were entrusted with the responsibility of guarding the polling stations, including the 4,834 sensitive booths where only CAPFs were deployed.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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