The body of a local CPI-M leader’s wife was found hanging from the ceiling inside a room at their house in Kanthi area of East Midnapore district Monday with her husband alleging that she was gangraped and killed by the workers of the ruling Trinamool Congress, which has denied any involvement.
The husband’s claim is being supported by CPI-M leader and former minister Chakradhar Maikap, who alleged that the woman, in her thirties, was tortured, gangraped and killed by the Trinamool Congress workers after she failed to pay them Rs 12 lakh extortion money they had been demanding to let her husband return to the village.
The husband was forced to flee their village after the Trinamool Congress decimated the CPI-M in the 2011 Assembly election and ruling party workers threatened him with dire consequences.
As per a police complaint filed by Maikap, the Trinamool workers tortured the woman, who was an Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) worker, the whole day on August 17, and at night she was gangraped and then murdered. Maikap alleged that he body was hung from the ceiling later to make it look like a suicide.
East Midnapore SP, Sukesh Jain, however, said that prima facie it looked like a case of suicide. “Police broke open the door of the room, which was locked from inside and recovered her body. There was no external injury marks on her body,” he said, adding the body has been sent for postmortem and a confirmed statement can be given only after the autopsy report comes in.
He said, the woman’s brother-in-law had first filed a police complaint alleging threats and a subsequent suicide. “However, an hour later, her husband filed a complaint against unnamed persons alleging gangrape and murder,” Jain said, adding investigations are on to ascertain if Trinamool workers are involved in the incident.
CPI-M workers held a protest outside Kanthi police station and also blocked Digha-Kolkata highway for some time demanding immediate arrest of the culprits.
Meanwhile, TMC district leadership refuted the allegations.
“It is a case of suicide from what I had heard. There has been no involvement of any of our boys in the incident. Police are looking into the matter, If our boys are found guilty, they would be punished by the law. What more can I say?” said Kanthi (South) MLA Dibbendu Adhikary.
Incidentally, in July this year, actor-turned Trinamool MP Tapas Paul was forced to retract his remarks and apologised after being caught on camera warning that he would have Left workers killed and their women raped. Paul was let off by the party after his apology.
The Calcutta High Court is now hearing a petition to decide whether a police case should be filed against him.