West Bengal panchayat poll: After BJP candidate refuses to withdraw nomination, her pregnant kin allegedly raped by TMC workers

The incident occurred in the wee hours of Sunday when the alleged ruling party cadres broke into the candidate's house (name withheld) at Ghoralia number 2 gram panchayat.
Image used for representational purpose.
Image used for representational purpose.

KOLKATA: In West Bengal, the ruling Trinamool Congress is facing yet another allegation of using intimidatory tactics to make rival candidates withdraw from the panchayat poll race. In Nadia district, the six-month pregnant sister-in-law of a BJP candidate for zilla parishad was raped, allegedly by Trinamool cadres, after the candidate refused to withdraw her nomination.

The accused broke into the house of the BJP candidate at Ghoralia gram panchayat on Sunday morning. Not finding her in the house, the accused allegedly beat up her mother with revolver butt and iron rods and raped her 23-year-old sister-in-law, according to the FIR filed at Santipur police station.The victim was admitted to Santipur sub-divisional hospital and later shifted to a government hospital in Kolkata. Her condition was stated to be critical. One person has been arrested in the case.

“I had to flee from my house after filing nomination as I was being pressurised to withdraw from the contest. They attacked my house, beat up my mother and raped my sister-in-law. I have filed a police complaint, but I am living in fear of my life,” the BJP candidate said.Her mother and the victim’s mother-in-law said: “They took me to the verandah and beat me up. They vandalised the house, looted all the belongings and tortured my daughter-in-law.”

The FIR states that the accused also decamped with gold and cash. District SP Santosh Pandey said a probe was on.The TMC denied involvement in the incident. “As far as I know, this is a case of family feud and has nothing to do with TMC,” local Trinamool MLA Arindam Bhattacharya said.

However, Union minister and Asansol’s BJP MP Babul Supriyo met Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi and apprised him of the Santipur incident. “I told him about the violence unleashed by TMC cadres and how BJP workers are being targeted. I told him about how TMC is using rape to intimidate BJP candidates to withdraw their nominations,” Supriyo later told reporters. Meanwhile, State Election Commissioner Amarendra Kumar Singh met DGP Surajit Kar Purakayasta to discuss security arrangements for the May 14 panchayat polls.

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