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

New Delhi, March 6: Faced with Opposition heat on Uttar Pradesh, the BJP threatened to raise the law and order situation in Bengal and Bihar in the Lok Sabha.

The BJP-led government is in a spot as the Opposition screamed for a CBI probe into the Mayavati tape allegedly showing her asking Bahujan Samaj Party legislators to contribute from their development funds to the party coffers and the dismissal of the no-trust motion against her by voice vote without a debate.

Armed with a report by a three-member BJP team that visited Nadia and North 24-Parganas to probe an assault on a marriage party, party spokesman V.K. Malhotra said if Uttar Pradesh can be raised, the party could ask for discussion on Bengal and Bihar where atrocities against women and the weaker sections have become the order of the day.

The BJP team has said that the demographic character of the two districts has changed and the Centre should extradite illegal immigrants and demolish unauthorised madarsas. They also sought compensation for the victims.

The team, made up of MPs Anadi Sahu, Jayashree Banerjee and Bishnu Pada Ray, had travelled to Bengal on March 1 to probe the alleged rape of six women, including four minors, in a madarsa after being dragged out of two buses while returning from a wedding ceremony. The team has demanded a CBI probe into the incident.

Briefing reporters, Malhotra said no action has been taken against the rapists, but FIRs were lodged against the BJP parliamentarians for storming the madarsa.

The team was prevented from meeting the victims, he said and accused the CPM cadre of infiltrating the state police and destroying evidence against the culprits.

The report said evidence as suppressed or destroyed by “CPM minister Nayan Sarkar and CPM MLA Ashim Bala” and supporters of the local CPM. The minister and the MLA “had hurriedly inaugurated the madarsa room on February 6”, the day of the incident, the report added.

The team has urged in its report to party president M. Venkaiah Naidu that the government should take steps to immediately stop illegal immigration from Bangladesh, demolish all illegal madarsas and take action against those involved in anti-India activities.

It said a large number of Bangladeshi Muslims have settled in these districts and obtained voting rights. The report also demanded the suspension of the officer-in-charge of Dhantola police station, Subhas Roy, for negligence, partisan attitude and suppression and obliteration of evidence.

The team wanted compensation to be paid to the affected persons and the next of kin of the deceased.

The BJP leaders found that a marriage party returning from Birnagar in Nadia was stopped near a half-constructed madarsa on the night of February 6. The driver was killed and women were dragged from the bus and raped in the school as the men were held at gunpoint. Jewellery and cash were taken away.

Another bus, which came from Eduli, was stopped at the same spot. It was looted, too and a woman was raped, they said.

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