Two sisters, protesting against encroachment on their family’s land, were allegedly tied up and assaulted by a Trinamool Congress panchayat leader and his accomplices in West Bengal’s South Dinajpur district, The Telegraph reported on Monday.
The panchayat leader, identified as Amal Sarkar, was suspended after a video of the incident was widely shared on social media. The Bharatiya Janata Party has claimed that one of the women is a supporter of the saffron party.
One of the victims, Smritikana Das, lodged a complaint on Sunday. “We have received a complaint and investigation is on,” Gangarampur police station in-charge Purnendu Kumar Kundu told Hindustan Times.
In the video, Das was reportedly seen being hit with an iron rod after which the accused tied her hands and legs and dragged her for around 30 feet, assaulting her the entire time. They then allegedly locked her inside a Trinamool supporter’s house.
Following the attack on Smritikana Das, her sister Shoma Das intervened to save her but was also beaten, and tied up. The complainant alleged that personal belongings, including gold chain and mobile phone, were snatched from Shoma Das. Locals stepped in and rescued the sisters after which they were taken to a nearby hospital.
South Dinajpur district’s BJP chief Binoy Burman and other leaders from the party visited the hospital. “The chief minister and other Trinamool leaders always lay emphasis on the safety of women in Bengal,” Balurghat BJP MP Sukanta Majumdar told The Telegraph. “But the reality is different. Trinamool workers were involved in the barbaric attack on a woman teacher and we want police to arrest all accused persons.”
Trinamool Congress leader Arpita Ghosh said the accused was suspended from the party till an investigation is completed, The Indian Express reported.