West Bengal: Two individuals were arrested by the police under the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and other relevant sections, seven days after three tribal women were subjected to crawling and performing “Dandavat Parikrama” in Balurghat. Biswanath Das, a supporter of Paradipta Chakraborty, the former district Mahila Trinamool Congress, was apprehended the day after the incident, while Ananda Roy, the general secretary of Balurghat Town Trinamool Youth Congress and also a contract worker at Balurghat Municipality, was also taken into custody.
“Two persons were arrested in this case (and) booked under IPC Sections 505 (incitement), 509 (insulting the modesty of women) and SC, ST Atrocities Act. They were produced in court and remanded to judicial custody. They will be produced in court again on April 17,” said Sajal Ghosh, public prosecutor at Balurghat district scene.
But their “Dandavat Parikrama”, The Indian Express learnt, was at the behest of the local TMC leadership. Shiuli’s husband Rajen, a TMC member since 2013, admitted to The Indian Express that there was “pressure” from “higher-ups” in the party to counter the BJP’s move. He did not elaborate who these “higher-ups” were.
Mrinal Sarkar, district TMC chief, said Thursday: “One of those arrested is in a party post. He will be removed soon. The police will take action against the guilty and will have to see that innocent people are not harassed in the case.”
Mrinal Sarkar, the district TMC chief, stated on Thursday that one of the arrested individuals held a party post and would soon be removed from it. He added that the guilty parties would be prosecuted by the police, but it was essential to ensure that innocent people were not targeted in the case.
The local BJP unit organized an event on April 6, where they claimed that more than 100 individuals, mostly women, had joined their party. The following day, on Good Friday, three women crawled from near the BJP’s local office to the TMC’s district headquarters.
Pradipta Chakraborty, the head of the district TMC women’s wing, told the media that the three women had been deceived into joining the BJP, and that they performed the “parikrama” as an act of contrition before returning to the TMC. The incident was captured on video, leading to widespread indignation and prompting the state BJP chief, Sukanta Majumdar, to write to President Droupadi Murmu and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.