Rama Mondal (left) and a family member at her house in Nadia on Monday. (Pranab Debnath)
Krishnagar, Sept. 9: A Nadia woman who had unsuccessfully contested the panchayat polls on a Trinamul ticket has allegedly been ostracised by the CPM for refusing to withdraw a complaint of molestation and assault against the Left party’s activists.
Rama Mondal, who lost a Bhandarkhola panchayat seat to the CPM’s Putul Biswas in the July polls, alleged that CPM leaders issued a “fatwa” at a public meeting last week, instructing villagers to boycott Rama.
Rama, who had won the seat last time, said: “They threatened the residents (of Haranagar-Uttarpara village) with dire consequences if they refused to follow the party’s diktat. The leaders asked the residents not to interact with me or my family members.
“Since then, the local grocers and vegetable vendors have stopped selling anything to us and farm hands have refused to work in our paddy field. The private tutor who teaches my daughter (a Class II student) and my brother-in-law’s daughter (a Class VIII student) is not coming to our home.”
Rama, who lost the polls by 37 votes, said no villager was collecting drinking water from the tubewell that her family uses.
Rama, whose husband is an LIC agent, said no villager had come to the rice mill of her brother-in-law Bhagawat Mandal.
Asked about the molestation complaint, Rama said: “CPM supporters hurled bombs at my house during a victory rally after the polls. They beat up my brother-in-law, his wife and daughter. My husband Amaresh was also assaulted when he tried to rescue them. When I protested, some CPM activists molested and assaulted me. Neighbours rescued us.”
“I was admitted to Saktinagar hospital. I later lodged a complaint of molestation and assault against 12 youths at Krishnagar police station,” she added.
Rama said no arrests had been made so far. Even though the CPM has a strong support base in the village, 12km from Krishnagar town, Rama said no party leader had come to her rescue.
“I had requested local MLA and Trinamul Aboni Joardar to help me but nothing has been done,” she said, adding that she and her family members have rarely stepped out of home in the past few days, fearing attacks.
Local grocer Khshudiram Mandal said: “I cannot tell you who has asked me not to sell anything to Rama and her family. I am following what the others are doing.”
MLA Joardar said the Trinamul leadership was aware of the incident.
“We have requested the administration to take step. I have also told the police to arrest those who assaulted Rama and her family members,” he said.
CPM district secretary Sumit De said he was “not aware” of the allegations. “But this sounds unbelievable. If such things have happened, it is quite unfortunate,” DE said.
The CPM pradhan of the Bhandarkhola panchayat, Mantu Halder, refuted the allegations.
“Our party has not issued any fatwa. Rama has cooked up the story. The villagers have spontaneously boycotted the family for bringing false charges of molestation against CPM activists. There was an altercation between Rama’s family and our cadres over bursting crackers after we won the polls,” Halder said.
The inspector-in-charge of Krishnagar police station, Alokeranjan Munshi, said: “The accused have been absconding. So we have not been able to arrest them so far. However, if anybody tries to ostracise the woman, we will take strong action.”
The CPM won nine seats and Trinamul eight in the 17-member panchayat.