The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Widow knocks on women’s panel door

Jhargram (West Midnapore), Oct. 18: Driven away from her village by miscreants who wanted to wrest her property and tired of police inaction, 55-year-old widow Gita Mallick of Kenduboni under Binpur police station has sought help from the state women’s commission.

In a letter to commission chief Jasodhara Bagchi, the widow described her plight. She had returned from a relative’s place on September 3 to find her house being looted in the presence of panchayat leader Shanti Biswas of the Jharkhand Party (Naren). Ranjit Mallik, a party activist, led the miscreants. “I was beaten up and thrown to the ground when I protested. Later, I was stripped and paraded. No one raised voice for fear of Ranjit, Mithu, Chandi and Satya,” she said.

The miscreants asked Gita to leave the village. “She would otherwise be hacked and buried,” they added on their way back.

Gita lodged an FIR with the police that very day. But all that the investigating officer did on September 4 was to ask her to patch up with the miscreants.

“They want to loot my house as I’m a CPM supporter,” Gita alleged. In her letter, the widow also said that the she was scared to stay on in the village as the miscreants had threatened to declare her a “witch”.

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