Public flogging case: Bengal Guv and NHRC seek report from Mamata

West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose is likely to visit Uttar Dinajpur on Tuesday to meet the victims of the flogging and enquire about the progress in the police investigation into the incident.
Last Updated : 01 July 2024, 08:06 IST

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Kolkata: After a ‘strongman’ of the Trinamool Congress was arrested for flogging a couple in the Uttar Dinajpur district of West Bengal, not only did the BJP and the CPI(M) slam Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s party, but the state’s Governor C V Ananda Bose and the National Human Rights Commission have also asked for reports on the incident.

The Trinamool Congress ‘strongman’, Tajimul Haque a.k.a. JCB, who was seen in a viral video flogging a couple at Dighalgaon at Chopra in the Uttar Dinajpur district of the state, was arrested on Sunday. He was presented before a court on Monday. The court sent him to police custody for five days.

Bose, who has a strained relationship with the TMC government, condemned the incident and asked for a report from the chief minister. He is likely to visit Uttar Dinajpur on Tuesday to meet the victims of the flogging and enquire about the progress in the police investigation into the incident. He may also visit the neighbouring Cooch Behar district, where another woman, identified by the BJP as a member of its minority wing, was also recently stripped and assaulted by the goons allegedly owing allegiance to the TMC.

The NHRC is also likely to send a delegation to Uttar Dinajpur.

The BJP MLAs staged a protest demonstration on the premises of the legislative assembly of West Bengal, protesting against alleged atrocities of women in the state. The saffron party’s MP and film actress, Kangana Ranaut, raised the issue while talking to the journalists at the Parliament House complex in New Delhi. She slammed Mamata Banerjee’s government, citing the incident as an example of Sharia Law being enforced by the TMC in West Bengal.

The saffron party also demanded the resignation of Mamata Banerjee from the office of the chief minister. “A horrific video has come to light from West Bengal, reminding us of the brutalities that exist only in theocracies. To make matters worse, the TMC cadre and MLAs are justifying the act,” J P Nadda, the BJP president, posted on X. “Be it Sandeshkhali, Uttar Dinajpur or many other places, Didi's West Bengal is UNSAFE for women”.

The alleged atrocities by the local TMC leaders on the villagers at Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, including women, was a major poll plank of the BJP during the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections and the saffron party used it to the hilt during the campaign against the party led by Banerjee.

The incident in Uttar Dinajpur took place on Friday, when a man and a woman, purportedly having an extra-marital affair, were tried in a kangaroo court in the village.

The video has Haque dragging the woman by her hair. The woman fell on the road, but ‘JCB’ continued to beat her with bamboo sticks. A man was also seen lying on the road and being beaten up by Haque. The villagers surrounded the victim and, except a woman, no one else in the crowd tried to stop him from beating up the couple.

Haque is known to be a close aide of local TMC legislator Hamidul Rahman. He was accused in several other criminal cases. After the video triggered outrage on Sunday, the cops of Islampur Police Station arrested him. A new video was circulated online on Monday, showing Haque assaulting another couple in the village a few days back.

The West Bengal police, however, said in a statement on Monday that malicious efforts were being made from certain quarters to spread misinformation and add political colour to the incident. “The fact is, on knowing about the incident, police have promptly identified the culprit and arrested him. A suo motu case has been started into the matter and an investigation is on. The victim has been provided with police security. IC Chopra has been show-caused over the incident," the West Bengal Police posted on X.

Rahman’s comment accusing the victim woman of immoral activities also triggered outrage with several BJP leaders slamming him for defending what was like a kangaroo court.

Published 01 July 2024, 08:06 IST

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