The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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BJP on Dhantola mission

Dhantola, March 1: Hundreds of BJP supporters today brushed aside police guards and violated prohibitory orders as they stormed into the educational institution at Ainsmali near here, where at least six women were allegedly dragged from two buses and raped or molested on February 6.

A three-member BJP parliamentary committee accompanied by hordes of supporters visited the spot this morning. As they were about to enter the area under Section 144, police, led by officer-in-charge of Dhantola police station Subhas Roy, stopped them and asked them to proceed in small groups. But state BJP general secretary Rahul Sinha protested.

“We will not allow the police to disturb our work. We are here to find out the truth. You, the police force, have become supporters of the CPM,” he shouted at the policemen. At this point, some of the supporters pushed the officer and 20 policemen aside and entered the institution. Jayashree Banerjee, MP from Jabbalpur, Anadi Charan Sahu, MP from Orissa, and former inspector-general of the police and now Andamans MP Bishnu Pada Das were in the group.

Emboldened, more partymen poured in. They heckled the officer, took control of the area and shouted slogans, demanding the resignation of chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

The outnumbered policemen could do little. Roy, seeing the situation spinning out of control, called in Eastern Frontier Riffles jawans, but the small group had little effect on the mob.

When Sahu asked Roy about the incident, he replied that the matter was being investigated by the CID and he had nothing to add. “You policemen have become totally useless and a stooge of the CPM,” Sahu shouted at the officer.

The team then visited the victims at Kuchiamora in North 24-Parganas. After speaking to the women, Banerjee said: “What else can I add when the report of the State Women’s Commission, which I commend, has been made public. The National Women’s Commission’s disapproval of the action taken before and in the aftermath of the incident is also in front of us.”

Sahu and Banerjee said the team will meet the state home secretary this evening and the chief minister, if possible. “Tomorrow we will hold a press conference in Calcutta. But as of now, as the things are progressing, the CBI should step in,” Banerjee added.

The team will submit its report to BJP president M. Venkaiah Naidu.

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