A 60-year-old woman and a 17-year-old minor girl filed pleas in the Supreme Court alleging rape in the aftermath of the West Bengal post-poll violence. The pleas alleged that All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers raped them for supporting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections.
In her plea, the 60-year-old hailing from Khejuri contended that even though a BJP candidate won in her area, TMC workers barged inside her house on the intervening night of May 4-May 5 and gang-raped her in front of her six-year-old grandson.
In a separate plea, the 17-year-old minor alleged that on May 9 four TMC workers raped her to teach her a "lesson" for supporting BJP.
The two pleas have been filed as intervention applications in Biswajit Sarkar's plea seeking a CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) probe in the West Bengal post-poll violence. Sarkar's brother Abhijit, a Bengal BJP worker was killed in the violence that raged across the state in the aftermath of the recently concluded polls. Violence erupted across West Bengal soon after the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC won the state elections on May 2.
On May 31, the Supreme Court had issued notice and sought a reply from the state on this issue. The matter will be heard tomorrow on June 15.
Rape a ploy to terrorize the enemy: Plea in SC
The 60-year-old alleged after raping her, the four men poisoned her. All her cash and valuables were also stolen. The neighbours found the 60-year-old in an unconscious state and rushed her to the hospital.
Her medical check-up at Kolkata's Apollo Hospital confirmed rape.
In her plea, the 60-year-old alleged that her family met with stiff resistance from the local police when they tried to file an FIR in the matter. The FIR was finally lodged after the daughter-in-law persisted.
"While the history is replete with gruesome instances where rape was employed as a strategy to terrorize the enemy civilian population and to demoralize enemy troops, but never have such cruel crimes been committed against a woman citizen for her or her family's participation in the democratic process," the plea alleged. "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," the petition filed through advocate Arunima Dwivedi read.
In her plea, the 17-year-old minor girl said after she was gang-raped she was left to die in the forest. A day later on May 10, TMC member SK Bahadur came to her residence and threatened her family with dire consequences if a complaint was filed. Bahadur allegedly threatened to burn the house down as well, the minor girl contended.
Her plea also seeks the transfer of the trial to another state.
"Such has been the conduct of local police/administration that instead of sympathizing with her and family members, the police is pressuring her family saying their other daughter may face the same consequences," her plea filed through advocate Ravi Sharma reads.
On May 31, the Calcutta High Court constituted a three-member committee to ensure the safe return of those internally displaced because of the violence that erupted soon after the poll counting concluded on May 2.
"Law and order is the domain of State and it is duty-bound to see that people can return to their homes. It is the paramount role of the Government, which has no political garment so far as rule of law is concerned," the Court had said.
Updated On: 2021-06-14T15:46:42+05:30