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Raped in Front of Grandson, Left to Die in Jungle: Survivors of Post-Poll Bengal Violence Narrate Horrors to SC

Supreme Court of India

Supreme Court of India

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said in early last month that at least 16 people have lost their lives in post- poll violence in West Bengal.

On May 18, Supreme Court issued notice to the West Bengal government on plea for CBI probe into killing of two BJP workers allegedly by TMC workers during the post-poll violence in the state.

About a month later, several women have moved the top court to seek SIT probe into all incidents of violence and gang-rape by members of the ruling Trinamool Congress.

According to a Times of India report, a 60-year-old woman recalled how TMC workers barged into her house in a village in Purba Medinipur, assaulted her and then gang-raped her in front of her six-year-old grandson before robbing their house on the intervening night of May 4 and 5.

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

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“Not merely the said crimes were facilitated by the inaction of the state authorities/police, but what was shocking is post crime humiliation that the rape survivors were subjected to, for their perceived audacity in reporting the crime," she said in her application in the SC.

Another woman who moved the application said her husband, who campaigned for BJP, was identified and “assaulted with axes in broad day light on May 14” and she was “made to helplessly witness the assault.” She was then disrobed and grabbed as two members of mob attempted to rape her.

A 17-year-old girl from the Scheduled Caste community told Supreme Court that she was gang-raped by TMC workers and left to die in the jungle on May 9. The next day, a local TMC leader, Bahadur SK, came to her house and threatened to burn her house and kill her family if she filed a police complaint.

The Supreme Court had in May sought the response of West Bengal government on a petition seeking probe by the CBI into the killings of two BJP workers in the post-election violence in West Bengal.

The Calcutta High Court had on June 4 directed the authorities to take steps for sending the people, who were allegedly forced to flee due to post-poll violence, back to their homes immediately on receiving complaints.

The five-judge bench had said that it is the duty of the state to ensure that the law and order situation is maintained. Clashes were reported from several places in West Bengal following the declaration of assembly election results on May 2.

On May 2, soon after the results of the Assembly election are out, State BJP leaders alleged many party workers were killed, raped, assaulted brutally and their houses were set on fire across the State. They accused TMC cadres of carrying out the attack and alleged that police are not doing anything to provide them protection.

The Centre also sought a report from the West Bengal government on post-poll violence in the State.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said in early last month that at least 16 people have lost their lives in post-poll violence in the state.

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first published:June 14, 2021, 11:06 IST