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West Bengal panchayat polls: Candidate’s relative raped, BJP blames TMC; ruling party denies

The woman is a relative of a BJP candidate fighting the panchayat polls, the party said and blamed the attack on “goons” affiliated to the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), which has denied involvement of its workers.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | Updated: May 1, 2018 9:30:12 am
west bengal panchayat elections, west bengal panchayat election uncontested seats, mamata banerjee, bengal violence, BJP, calcutta high kolkata news The family also claimed that the police had put pressure on them to change their statement. (Representational)

A 23-year-old, six-month pregnant woman was allegedly raped by a group of six armed men who barged into her home in Nadia district of West Bengal around 2 am on Sunday. Doctors said her condition is stable.

The woman is a relative of a BJP candidate fighting the panchayat polls, the party said and blamed the attack on “goons” affiliated to the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), which has denied involvement of its workers.

Click here to read this story in Bengali

The family also claimed that the police had put pressure on them to change their statement. The police denied this and said the family had initially lodged an assault and loot complaint. The rape charge was added later.

“An FIR has been lodged under sections of rape and others on the basis of a complaint. Investigation is on,” Nadia SP Santosh Pandey said.

At the time, the candidate, who is the victim’s sister-in-law, was in hiding with some other family members after she was allegedly threatened to withdraw her nomination. Only the two women were reportedly home, along with a three-year-old child, at the time.

The woman was allegedly beaten and sexually assaulted when she tried to shield her mother-in-law from the attackers. The complainant said the men robbed cash and jewellery from the house and destroyed their handlooms.

BJP MP and Union minister Babul Supriyo said, “I met the Governor (Keshari Nath Tripathi) and highlighted the kind of violence unleashed by Trinamool goons. I also told about a woman getting raped by TMC goons since her sister-in-law is contesting for BJP and refused to withdraw her nomination.”

TMC’s Nadia district president Gouri Dutta dismissed the allegations as “false and concocted”.

“No rape took place. This is being done to malign our party’s image. I do not know about other districts, but in Nadia, BJP candidates were able to submit nominations. There has been no violence. Initially there was a complaint of assault; they lodged a rape complaint later,” Dutta said.

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