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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Expelled CPM leader Ritabrata Banerjee accused of sexual assault

The woman, who had earlier posted her allegations on Twitter, filed the complaint at Balurghat police station in South Dinajpur district of West Bengal.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: October 11, 2017 3:59:56 am
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A 30-YEAR-OLD research scholar on Tuesday filed a police complaint against expelled CPM leader Ritabrata Banerjee, stating that he had sexually exploited her by establishing physical relationship with false promise to marry her.

Breaking that promise amounts to rape, she told the media on Tuesday.

The woman, who had earlier posted her allegations on Twitter, filed the complaint at Balurghat police station in South Dinajpur district of West Bengal.

Her complaint comes days after Banerjee, a Rajya Sabha MP, had given a written complaint to Garfa police in Kolkata, alleging that he had tried to help her secure a student loan, and that she later tried to blackmail and extort from him. Banerjee alleged that her accusations are politically motivated to malign him.

On Sunday, Banerjee posted an image of his complaint letter to the police, dated September 6, along with a screenshot of a WhatsApp conversation, where the victim purportedly sought Rs 50 lakh for not filing an FIR. The accompanying tweet said, “Hard Facts. “Manufactured Lies” will be combatted. Will not succumb to “politically aided” threats.”

Banerjee did not answer The Indian Express’s calls on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the complainant claimed that Banerjee had allegedly booked an air ticket on his MP quota to get her to Delhi, and that she had gifted him the Apple watch, which had stirred controversy on social media and was one of the reasons for his expulsion by the CPM last month. A party disciplinary panel had found Banerjee guilty of “anti-party activities”, leaking information to the media, and of leading a lavish lifestyle beyond his means.

“I met Ritabrata on Twitter in May 2016, and got close to him,” she told The Indian Express. “I was working as a software developer at a reputed MNC (at the time). In October, he sent me a ticket on his MP quota to travel from Bengaluru to Delhi. I stayed at his house (allotted as MP): 104-Southern Avenue. He became intimate and shared a physical relationship. He promised to marry me. He also visited my Balurghat home and stayed there for three days.”

She claimed that Banerjee helped her secure a loan “using his influence”. “During my stay in Holland, he wanted to come and meet me and I bought him an air ticket,” she claimed. On Twitter earlier, she had tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, and WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi while making allegations against Banerjee. She had also posted her pictures with the MP on social media.

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