Woman tied to tree, tortured in Bengal

A 40-year-old widowed woman in South 24 Parganas district, near here, was stripped, tied to a tree and tortured by a group of armed men. The accused, allegedly associated with the ruling Trinamool Congress, got bail on Monday within 24 hours of the incident.

The victim was picked up from her house at Maipith village in Kultali block on Sunday afternoon. The accused stripped her and tied her to a tree with her sari. “She was molested ... tortured and she became unconscious,” Latika Thakur, an eyewitness, said. The women of the village “virtually chased away” the accused. Two persons were arrested at night, but they managed to secure bail.

Kanti Ganguly, senior Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader and former Minister, met the woman late on Sunday. “I have seen the video clip on mobile phone and can tell you that she was most brutally tortured,” he said. The victim was not a member of any political party. “She often used to protest against misdeeds in the area and that is one reason she was tortured by the Trinamool goons,” Mr. Ganguly said.

Condemning the incident, local Trinamool leaders demanded “proper punishment” for the accused.

On January 17, a police team, accompanied by local Trinamool leaders, allegedly took a woman to a nearby forest and tortured her to extract information from her about her nephew, a local leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Members of the National Women for Commission visited Birbhum.

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