Trinamool Congress councillor Kakoli Bar has been charged with moral policing and assaulting a mother-daughter duo for supposedly having a “bad character”. The incident took place on November 6, at Ward No 7, Diamond Harbour Municipality of South 24 Parganas.
Bar, joined by some of her supporters, accused a middle-aged woman and her daughter of having a ‘bad character’ and publicly assaulted both of them in Taliban style.
“My daughter and I were forced out of the house and tied to a tree. Then they gave a stick to my husband and forced him to beat me. People were coming and slapping me for no reason. My daughter was also beaten up. They handed over a blade to my autistic son and asked him to shave off my head. However, some people came forward and resisted them from committing such a heinous crime,” shared the victim.
A relative of the mother-daughter duo had registered a complaint against them with the Diamond Harbour police station via Speed Post. Following this complaint, a bunch of rowdies led by the local TMC councillor stormed into the residence of the victims, pulled them out of their house, tied them to a tree and beat them up.
“They took Rs. 5,000 to release us. They threatened me with dire consequences if I ever reported the matter to the police. They even forced us to leave the village,” the victim added.
Both the women had to leave their house and the village overnight and seek shelter in a relative’s house. “I don’t know what to do now. My husband and mentally challenged child are still in the house. I don’t know how to protect them,” cried the victim.
When probed, the Kakoli Bar maintained, “I shall not say anything”.
Pannalal Halder, the Trinamool Congress MLA from Diamond Harbour constituency, brushed the issue aside saying ‘strict action’ will be taken against the councillor if the allegations are true.
Bengal BJP’s official Twitter handle shared snippets of Bengali news channels telecasting details of the horrendous case, and compared the rule of TMC in Bengal to that of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The Trinamool Congress is a party of self-styled feminists like Mohua Moitra, and actors-turned-politicians Koushani Mukherjee and Saayoni Ghosh. None of these women politicians who are otherwise loud about women’s rights have uttered a voice of condemnation on this ghastly incident. Celebrity philanthropist politician June Malia, serving as a member of the West Bengal Women’s Commission has also maintained silence.
But then this is nothing compared to the mass violence unleashed since May 2 on women family members of BJP workers and supporters. One fact-finding team headed by a retired HC judge estimated that 7000 women were sexually assaulted (raped, molested) in the first few weeks of the post-poll pogrom that swept across West Bengal. Most of these cases were buried as victim’s feared further victimization by WB Police and TMC goons.
A few gang-rape victims, however, did muster the courage to approach Supreme Court. A 60-year-old woman was gang-raped in front of her 6-year-old grandson in Khejuri; a minor SC girl was dragged into the jungle, gang-raped and left to die – police threatened her family to drop the case lest their other daughter face the same fate.