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Trinamul leader in molest case

- Panchayat member FIR against Barasat girl kin

Calcutta, Feb. 24: A 20-year-old Barasat girl has lodged a complaint accusing a Trinamul leader and two associates of molesting her and assaulting her brothers who protested.

Nikhil Das, a member of the Trinamul-run Kashipur panchayat who was named in the FIR at Barasat police station, has lodged a counter complaint accusing the girl’s brothers of beating up his aides, Somnath Sardar and Dipak.

Till late in the night, 10 persons were arrested. The police refused to reveal the names.

The police said Nikhil and his aides got involved in a squabble near the girl’s home around 6.30pm today.

“The girl and her two brothers stepped out of their home to see what was going on. That is when Somnath groped her and molested her,” an officer of Barasat police station said, quoting the girl’s complaint.

When her brothers tried to save her, Dipak, instigated by Nikhil and Somnath, attacked them with a knife, the officer said.

While the girl’s younger brother, a college student, suffered slashes on his back and wrists, the elder brother, who works as an engineer with a private firm, escaped unscathed.

The younger brother was admitted to Barasat district hospital and was released after first-aid.

The incident took place around 6km from Barasat police station and 1.5km from the spot where a Class X student was stabbed to death two years ago when he protested a molestation attempt on his sister by some youths.

The police said Somnath is out on bail in a burglary case.

“We are looking into both the complaints. The guilty will not be spared,” said Sugata Som, the superintendent of police of North 24-Parganas.

The family members, who the police said were in a shock, could file the complaint about four hours later.

When they went to the police station, Nikhil had already lodged a complaint against the girl’s brothers, saying they attacked them first.

Nikhil said in his complaint that when the altercation broke out between the brothers and his group, the girl and her mother came out and accused Somnath of molestation.

Food minister Jyoptipriya Mullick, who is also the district observer, said the police would take appropriate action against the accused.

“If it is proved that the guilty have any link with any particular party, he would not get away just because of that connection,” he said.

Residents said crimes against women in Barasat are on the rise and such incidents are being reported almost every week.

A group of youths allegedly molested a Class XI student at Barasat on February 1 and assaulted her father and brother when they tried to rescue her.

They added that today’s incident brought back memories of the fatal assault on Rajib Das, a Class X student who had tried to stop a group from molesting his elder sister at Barasat in February 2011.