The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Panel sees police-party link in Dhantola tragedy

Dhantola (Nadia), Feb. 27: Members of the National Commission for Women, here to investigate the February 6 incident in which passengers of two buses were looted and the women allegedly raped by miscreants connected with the local CPM, expressed unhappiness over the role played by police.

“We have spoken to the victims at Ainsmali and at Kuchiamora, where the two buses were headed, and have been told in no uncertain terms about the nexus between the police and the parties here,” said Sudha Malaiya, who was part of the five-member inquiry team.

The panel, she said, had evidence that the women, especially in the bus returning to Ainsmali from a wedding at Birnagar, were “mindlessly molested”.

The state women’s commission, too, had met the victims. Early this week, it filed an FIR complaining of rape and molestation with the police.

Today, Malaiya was accompanied by former Delhi police commissioner Nafisa Hussain, retired judge T.R. Kakkar, Kalyanmoy Ganguly and Jalil Ahmed.

The team spoke to the officer in-charge of the police station here, Subhas Roy. He was asked why the incident could not be prevented though there was a police camp half-a-kilometre away. The team wondered how the police did not hear the gunshots that killed Samir Ghosh, one of the drivers.

“Just bring us the policemen who went to the spot after the incident,” Malaiya told Ghosh.

At the Ainsmali panchayat office, a large number of women had assembled to talk to the members. Many complained the police had been harassing the male members of their families, who had “nothing to do” with the incident. The team also spoke to two of the victims at the panchayat office.

The local women who spoke to the team said they saw blood-stained clothes on the street the morning after the incident. “But all the signs were missing a few hours later. The police asked us not to file any complaints,” one of the “rape victims” said.

The women told the members that the victims had been warned by local CPM leaders not to speak. One of the “molested” women told the team three minor girls were raped by the miscreants, who dragged “at least eight women” to a deserted madarsa.

The women at Kunchiamora said: “The Dhantola police sent us back the next day when we went to complain, saying we should go to the police in North 24-Parganas as Kuchiamora was in that district.”

Some of them broke down before the commission.

Email This Page