KOLKATA: Two persons have been arrested while the Calcutta High Court on Monday sought a detailed report in connection with the alleged brutal torture of two women in Gangarampur of West Bengal's South Dinajpur district by a group of men led by a panchayat functionary belonging to the ruling Trinamool Congress.
According to the shocking video - which has become viral - a woman, Smritikona Das, wearing a maroon dress and said to be a BJP worker, was seen bound by a rope to a pole at her knees and then hauled over a country road.
When another woman - the victim's elder sister Soma Das - comes forward and protests, she is also flung onto the ground and tortured by an abusive 'panchayat upapradhan' (deputy chief of the gram panchayat - the lowest tier of the three-level panchayat system in Bengal)- Amol Sarkar and three of his associates.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker and her sister were rescued by the local residents and admitted to hospital. Smritikona Das, a school teacher, sustained a head injury.
On Sunday, after her release from the hospital, Smritikona Das lodged a complaint at Gangarampur police station naming Sarkar and four others.
According to the police, two persons have been arrested. On Monday, a lawyer brought the matter to the attention of the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court T.B.N. Radhakrishnan who asked for the detailed report on the incident.
According to the two victims, they were tortured for protesting against the Trinamool run panchayat grabbing their land for building a road.
The woman initially had given permission for building a 12-feet wide road and gave up their land for the project. But the panchayat later is said to have decided to increase the road width to 24 feet, which would have meant the taking of more land from the Das family.
The horrendous attack followed after they protested.
"They threatened to murder us. We are in great panic," said Smiritikona.
As the incident triggered widespread condemnation, district Trinamool chief Arpita Ghosh expelled Sarkar from the party.
Lok Sabha member from Balurghar and BJP leader Sukanta Majumdar described the incident as "worse than medieval barbarism" and sought exemplary punishment of the perpetrators.
"Only Trinamool can behave so inhumanly with a woman. This shows the state of law and order in the state," said Majumdar.