The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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CPM leader gets woman tonsured

Calcutta, Sept. 15: Bijali Naskar, who was married two months ago, was tonsured in the presence of villagers on the orders of a CPM panchayat member for failing to bring enough dowry.

Bijali, 22, was then confined to a cowshed without food for six days at Alampur in South 24-Parganas, 26 km from the city. She, however, managed to flee the shed under the cover of darkness.

The Baruipur police station, her first stop after the escape, refused to accept her complaint. Bijali then made it to her relativesí house in Baghajatin, about 20 km away.

Her trader husband was said to be torturing her for dowry since their marriage.

On September 9, a meeting was called at the Sanakar panchayat office, where Bablu Naskar, the CPM leader, allegedly ordered that either Bijali fulfil the demands of her in-laws or face consequences. Naskar finally ordered that she be tonsured and confined to the shed till her parents make a settlement.

Bijaliís relatives got in touch with an NGO, which brought the incident to light and threatened to move the human rights commission.

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