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West Bengal: Governor Returns without Meeting Chopra Victim

West Bengal: Governor Returns without Meeting Chopra Victim

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NEW DELHI, July 2: The West Bengal Governor C.V. Ananda Bose was on Tuesday forced to cut short his visit to north Bengal after the woman who was seen in a viral video on social media being flogged publicly, allegedly refused an audience with the administrative head of the State.

“The victim wants to be left alone, and I will respect her right,” Mr Bose told journalists at a guest house in Siliguri in north Bengal, before returning to Delhi. The Governor had flown from Bagdogra in north Bengal in a morning flight on Tuesday, and elaborate arrangements were made, including the deployment of police at the village in Chopra in Uttar Dinajpur, where the video of a man mercilessly beating a man and a woman went viral a few days ago.

After the video sent shock waves across the country, the Islampur police suo motu arrested Tajimul Islam, the man allegedly beating up the couple, and he has been remanded to five days in police custody. Instead of demanding action against the perpetrators of violence, the survivor from Chopra sought action against those who had made the one-minute video clip go viral. “I do not know who the person beating me up was,” she told journalists.

“If any malpractice has taken place, we will look into it,” the Governor said, when asked if the woman had been pressured into declining a meeting with him. The woman, however, said she had not stopped the Governor from visiting her house.

The Governor, meanwhile, met the survivor of a violent incident involving mob assault on a woman at Mathabhanga in Cooch Behar district. “I have no faith in Mamata Banerjee’s police. I was stripped and beaten up by supporters of the Trinamool Congress. The Governor assured me that he will stand by me,” the woman, who highlighted her allegiance to the BJP, said.

Meanwhile, Mr Bose continued with his attack on the state government. “Violence has become a norm rather than an exception in north Bengal. The responsibility for this lies with the Chief Minister and the [State] Home Minister,” he said. Mr Bose accused the government led by Ms Banerjee of providing patronage to violence. “This is a government-supported and government-initiated violence,” he said, adding that incidents of violence had increased from the time panchayat polls had been held in the State. The Governor accused a section of police of conniving with criminals.

Meanwhile, in another incident at Fulbari in the State’s Jalpaiguri district, a woman committed suicide after she was tried for alleged adultery at a kangaroo court called by local villagers. Akin to the incident involving the woman in Chopra, the woman was assaulted by locals publicly. While it was the local TMC MLA Hamidur Rahaman who had raised questions about the character of the woman at Chopra, at Fulbari, it was the husband of local panchayat leader Shambu Roy who cast aspersions. Four persons have been arrested in connection with the incident.

(Manas Dasgupta)



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