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Sexual Harassment Complaint in Kolkata Raj-Bhavan: Mamata Banerjee Accuses Governor of Showing Doctored CCTV Footage

Sexual Harassment Complaint in Kolkata Raj-Bhavan: Mamata Banerjee Accuses Governor of Showing Doctored CCTV Footage

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, May 11: Sharpening her attack against the governor CV Ananda Bose, the West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee castigated him for showing an edited version of the CCTV footage of the Raj-Bhavan premises to “mislead” the people about his misdeeds with a contractual female employee.

Addressing an election rally at Saptagram in Hoogly district on Saturday, Ms Banerjee said she had the entire episode in a pen drive along with some other clippings and also a doctored version of the CCTV footage which he had shown to journalists and others to claim that the complaint by the female employee was false.

Referring to Thursday’s screening of CCTV footage from the day a temporary Raj Bhavan employee had lodged a written complaint with the police against the governor, the Trinamool Congress chief alleged it was edited. She said she has the entire footage as well as a pen drive with more videos. “The governor had released an edited video. I saw the entire footage and its contents are shocking. I have got another video… Your conduct is shameful,” the chief minister said.

Demanding his resignation, Ms Banerjee said, “I have a copy. I have received it from a member of the press. The edited copy is also with me. The entire thing has not come out yet. I received another video. A pen drive. More incidents… incidents after incidents,” Ms Banerjee claimed.

“Honourable Governor, what is my fault? I don’t even know what the entire incident is. He said ‘Didigiri’ won’t be allowed and I say that is true. ‘Dadagiri’ and ‘Didigiri’ will not be allowed. But governor, you must first step down. Who are you to torture women? I heard he called the press yesterday. Some edited videos were shown. Has he shown you the entire thing?”

Speaking after the allegations had surfaced, Mr Bose had hit out at Ms Banerjee and accused her of practising “dirty politics.” “I always took the stand that her politics is not my cup of tea and I refused to comment on that. Now because of the humiliating remarks that have been made against me, I am forced to tell you, Mamata Banerjee’s politics is dirty. Still, I will pray to God to save her, but this is difficult even for God. I will never accept this ‘Didigiri’ on the distinguished office of the Governor,” he had said on Monday.

Ms Banerjee insisted that she would not enter the Raj-Bhavan till Mr Bose was the governor. “If he calls me to the Raj Bhavan, I will not go. If he calls me to meet him on the streets, I will do that. But, after hearing about the incidents, even sitting next to you is a sin,” she said. “The governor says ‘didigiri’ (high-handedness) will not be tolerated…But, I say Mr Governor, your ‘dadagiri’ will not work anymore,” the TMC supremo said. “Bose must explain why he should not resign after such allegations were levelled against him,” she said.

On May 2, Bose was accused by a temporary employee of Raj Bhavan of molestation on two occasions. The next day Kolkata Police set up an inquiry team to probe the allegations. Police said they sought CCTV footage from Raj Bhavan and also planned to speak to some Raj Bhavan staff.

On May 5, Bose asked the staff at Raj Bhavan to ignore the police inquiry citing Article 361 of the Constitution which says that no criminal proceedings can be initiated against the President and the governor of a state as long as they are in office.

“In the circumstances, all staff/ employees including part-time, temporary, DRW (Daily Rated Workers) or those engaged in Raj Bhavan in any manner are hereby directed to ignore any communication from the police in this respect and refrain from giving any statement online, offline, in person, over phone or in any other manner,” Bose told the Raj Bhavan staff in a letter which was uploaded on social media.



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