The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tease & torture at Iskcon temple

Mayapur/Calcutta, March 28: Two girls of a visiting group from Calcutta were harassed on the Iskcon temple premises yesterday and two other members, one a woman, beaten up for daring to protest.

The driver accompanying the family was also thrashed with a heavy chain that was used on the other two. All three had to be hospitalised.

Early yesterday, Dhruv Dubey, a dentist at Rafi Ahmed Dental College and a resident of Salt Lake, travelled to the Iskcon temple at Mayapur with his aunt, Ratna Mishra, her two daughters, one of their friends and her son.

They spent the day at the temple and around 5.30 when they were visiting the goshala (the cowshed), a group of men started harassing two of the girls.

The Iskcon authorities, who apologised to the family later, described the men as casual workers.

'The gang targeted one of my daughters and her friend. They told them they looked pretty and proposed. The girls were terrified and called Dhruv for help,' Mishra said.

When Dubey confronted the group, some of the men fled but three stayed back and continued to harass the girls. At this point, Mishra reached the spot and slapped one of the men.

An Iskcon member, looking after a shop selling dairy products, approached the group and reprimanded the three men who went away.

But just as the family was returning to their car near the main entrance to the temple, the trio turned up again, armed with heavy chains.

They first called Dubey and hit him on the head. As he fell to the ground, they attacked Mishra. She too collapsed.

The driver, Anil Upadhyay, saw the attack on the family and tried to rescue them, but he was hit on the head and fell down bleeding. The three attackers fled from the spot.

Attracted by the cries of the girls, a Delhi-based businessman, Pankaj Jain, came to the family's aid and arranged for an ambulance to take them to a nearby hospital.

One of the three accused, Sagar Ghosh, has been arrested and police in Nadia are looking for his associates.

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