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Monday, September 27, 2021

Women survivors of WB’s post-poll violence share story of their ordeal since 2 May

The National Human Rights Commission has slammed the Mamata Banerjee government for attacking the rights to life and livelihood of the people of West Bengal who don’t subscribe to TMC’s politics. However, the reign of terror is far from being over in West Bengal.

Recently, two women BJP workers from the state spoke to HinduPost to share their ordeal and struggle since 2 May. Requesting that their identities be hidden for safety purposes, they have detailed the harassment they have faced at the hands of the ruling dispensation.

Malati (34, name changed) is a grassroots worker of the BJP. Her husband, who ran a small shop to earn his living, is also a supporter of the saffron party and has extended his full support to his wife while she went around arranging public rallies for BJP leaders before the state elections. She had also been invested with the duty of spreading awareness about the BJP, its work and manifesto in rural areas of Bengal, in and around her area of residence.

Malati and her husband have been away from her home since the first week of May when election results were announced. She said, “For two months, we changed our location several times and took refuge with our friends and relatives. After living on the run like this, when my husband and I decided to return to our village, the local TMC members threatened us with dire consequences. They also warned my husband against opening his shop.”

In a pandemic-stricken world, the hapless couple is still away from their home, while the fear of lynching by TMC goons haunts them day and night. They have almost no finances to support them. “Every time the phone rings, and an unknown number flashes, we fear it is someone from the TMC who will be demanding our whereabouts and come for us. We are unsure where we will be two days later and have almost lost the hope of ever returning home,” she added.

She states that back in her village the TMC members had regularly abused her for being a BJP supporter in the area. Malati dreads the verbal abuses will turn physical and that she will be assaulted by the TMC members if she returns home.

Pratima (name changed), another grassroots level BJP worker who has been in exile and has recently put up in the Dum Dum area of North 24 Parganas which is adjacent to Kolkata, informs that her parents have been refused the Covid-vaccine by the authorities in the TMC-run state.

“Both my parents are senior citizens above the age of 60. They have been eligible for the vaccine since before the election results were out. But they were neither allowed to take the Covid vaccine from the local government facilities before the poll results nor after. Both have been marked as “BJP workers’ parents” in the locality and have been refused this basic life-saver multiple times,” confided Pratima to our correspondent.

“I approached the local BJP MLA; he turned us down saying his scope was limited and he had no authority to rescue them. I am being approached by TMC authorities to switch loyalties in favour of the ruling party, which would grant me safety and my parents’ vaccine,” says Pratima who remains unwilling to betray the ideology that the BJP purports. She claims that the local BJP leadership, unable to extend any support to her, has encouraged her to join the TMC to gain the assurance of safety.

Pratima doesn’t want to join the TMC. But given the might of the Mamata Banerjee establishment and the risks associated with opposing her, Pratima is clueless about her future and the wellbeing & safety of her family. With local and central BJP leadership failing to stand up effectively in their defense, and Hindu civil society & religious organizations also unable to come to their aid, Pratima, Malati and thousands others like them were expecting the judiciary of this country to deliver justice and grant them their basic right to life, livelihood and health.

Sadly, looking at the snail’s pace at which cases pertaining to the post-poll pogrom are proceeding in courts, even that last flicker of hope has been snuffed out. The Indian state has yet again failed a Hindu community targeted with brutal violence and systematic terror which has reduced them to refugees and second class citizens in their own country.

(Featured image: Representational only)


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