Photographs of a 20-year-old woman allegedly raped and murdered by construction workers working at her house in West Medinipur's Pingla area are viral with several netizens claiming that the victim was attacked for her political affiliation.
BOOM reached out to Sankha Chatterjee, officer in charge of Pingla police station who denied the viral narrative with the incident. Additionally, we also reached out to a family member of the deceased who stated that the woman was not affiliated to any political party and that the social media narratives were falsely claiming the murder as a political killing.
West Bengal has erupted in post poll clashes after the Trinamool Congress got a thumping majority in the assembly elections held in eight phases. According to reports, the post poll violence has claimed at least 14 lives in two days. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee held an emergency meeting on May 4 to seek an immediate end to the clashes erupting in several areas of the state.
Netizens claim: She was murdered by 'TMC goons'
Several netizens, including BJP MP Saumitra Khan tweeted images of the victim, a college student of Vidyasagar University and likened the incident to Uttar Pradesh's Hathras where a woman was raped and murdered in September, 2020.
Khan captioned the collage of the images as, "Forgive me sister. There is political juice here as it was in Hathras. Where is the elite class of Kolkata? Where are your candles? West Medinipur's Debra College's second year student **** was raped and killed brutally by goons."
Note: The Indian law prohibits revealing the identity of a rape victim
Viral tweets have also falsely alleged that the woman was a BJP supporter and was killed by six TMC goons and hanged outside her house.
Photographs of the victim are also doing the rounds on Facebook with netizens alleging that the perpetrators are Muslims.
No political angle to the incident: Medinipur Police, Family
BOOM reached out to the uncle of the victim, who said that the incident happened on May 3. According to the uncle, the woman was allegedly attacked in the mud house that the masons were renovating. The accused woman, the family alleged, stood guard when the two masons forced themselves on her.
"Social media posts alleging that my niece was a BJP worker are false. She had gone to the renovation site on May 3, when the woman told her there could be a snake inside. She was then dragged and raped by the two workers who were appointed for renovation. Her body was later found from the mud house in the backyard. There is no political angle to the incident," he told BOOM. Locals also blocked the Debra and Sabang road on May 4 to protest the incident . Photos showing placards carrying the woman's images are from the protests of the same day.
BOOM reached out to Sankha Chatterjee, officer in charge of Pingla Police Station, who said, "This was not a political incident. The woman was assaulted and murdered in her residence by two masons, who had been appointed by her family for renovation work of a mud house in their backyard. Three people have been arrested in this matter."
Chatterjee further ruled out any communal angle to the incident as well. He added, "Based on the FIR filed by the victim's father, the accused has now been arrested." The accused has been identified as Bijoy Murmu from Belda (Medinipur), Chhotu Munda from Jharkhand and Tapati Patra from Sabang. "Bijoy and Chhotu Munda were masons. Tapatai Patra was a helper in the construction area. None of the accused have any political affiliation," Chatterjee added.
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