Under attack over the worsening law and order in West Bengal, the ruling Trinamool Congress has decided to take the fight to the ruling BJP at the Centre by raising in Parliament the issue of the gangrape of a tribal woman in the saffron party-ruled Madhya Pradesh.
Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, a Rajya Sabha MP who led a five-member TMC parliamentary delegation on a fact finding mission on the alleged gangrape in Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh, said they would also urge the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to intervene in the issue.
Roy submitted a report to party chief Mamata Banerjee. Mamata, the Bengal Chief Minister, had sent the TMC team to Madhya Pradesh as a tit-for-tat response to the BJP sending two teams to the state.
A BJP delegation had visited Ilambazar in Birbhum district on June 15 where a BJP worker Rahim Sheikh was killed allegedly by TMC men on June 7. Earlier, another BJP team had visited Sandeshkhali in North-24 Parganas district where a number of party workers were injured in an attack, also allegedly by TMC supporters.
While responding to the BJP teams’s visits, Mamata had said she will send TMC teams to BJP-ruled states when some aberration in law and order takes place there. “It will be a tit-for-tat,” she said.
“Look at the law and order situation at Madhya Pradesh. It’s really bad. And they talk of Bengal’s situation. Our party will raise the issue (of Khandwa gangrape) in Parliament,” Mamata said Friday at an administrative meeting at Barasat.
The delegation comprising Rajya Sabha members S S Roy and Nadimul Haque, and Lok Sabha members Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Arpita Ghosh and Uma Soren met the 30-year-old woman, who was allegedly gangraped and paraded naked on June 10, her parents, the police and some NGOs. “The woman is still traumatised,” Roy said.
Dastidar added that the victim had a deep wound on her forehead, which she said was caused by an axe. “She was beaten up mercilessly. There were attempts of cover-up by the police it seemed,” Dastidar, told The Indian Express.
She also said the administration did not give them the required co-operation. “All initiative had to be taken by us as they did not offer any help,” Dastidar added.
The tribal woman was allegedly gang-raped by 10 persons, including her husband, paraded naked and forced to drink urine in front of her minor son following a land dispute. After the woman lodged a complaint in which she alleged that the attack was carried out at the behest of her husband, all the accused were nabbed.