KOLKATA: An injured Bengali movie actor and her affair with a director seems to be the talk of the town in Bengal even as state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee turns a blind eye to the incidents.
Tollywood sex symbol Swastika Mukherjee was hospitalised here on the wee hours of Sunday with injuries on her arm and wrist allegedly caused by glass. Soon, director Sumon Mukherjee, who is said to have an affair with the actor, was summoned by the Bidhannagar City Police and subjected to a 22-hour-long interrogation, despite any evidence to frame him. Swastika, who could not be questioned by the police, is reported to be recovering after a plastic surgery.
According to sources, Swastika, who had checked into a five-star hotel suite on Saturday evening, had invited Sumon there. The hotel staff said they heard voices of quarrel and glass being shattered in the night. The CCTV camera of the hotel shows Sumon leaving the hotel on Sunday morning. Swastika was wheeled out on a stretcher and taken to Apollo Hospital later.
The police eagerness to frame Sumon eventhough no complaint was filed has created a ripple among the so-called intellectuals in the state. Sumon, a known critic of the Mamata Banerjee-led government and the former CPM-led Left Front Government, was not in the good books of Didi.
The police summoned him on Sunday afternoon, confined him in a room for 22 hours, did medical test on him and drafted his arrest memo. However, at the intervention of a city industrialist, he was not arrested.
The police who have been maintaining that many known politicians charged with cognizable offences roaming free in the state “are untraceable”, seem to be tracking a “film couple”!
The “22-hour inhuman torture” underwent by Sumon despite any shred of evidence has irked the intellectuals, who took potshots at the police and the TMC Government for violation of human rights.
“Those who interrogated Sumon for 22 hours should be arrested,” demanded Congress’ Samir Aich.
Left-oriented dramatists and actors are, however, a bit cautious in criticising Mamata, fearing to be put behind bars after being branded ‘Maoists’.
“These police officers are actually acting at the behest of some TMC leaders who swear by the name of Mamata Banerjee. But Mamata should realise that they will only bring her down and ensure her defeat in the next Assembly polls,” Calcutta HC lawyer Arunabha Ghosh said.
The Bengali media is divided on the issue. A newspaper even linked a media baron with Swastika and also questioned Sumon being a member of a trustee board of an art museum headed by the media baron’s wife. While politicians of all hues, except the TMC, condemned the incident as a gross violation of human rights, they felt the state government had more pressing issues to address instead of chasing film stars. West Bengal, which ranks first in the country regarding crime against women, has witnessed a series of gangrapes after the TMC came to power. The state, where 20 per cent of the people live below the poverty line, had no industrial growth since the Tatas shifted its Nano plant to Gujarat in 2008.