|Prasenjit at the nursing home; (above) wife Sharmistha with Prasenjit’s mother at home. Picture by Sanjay Chattopadhyaya
Calcutta, Oct. 28: Prasenjit Ghosh’s first mistake was to protest his wife’s harassment by a man he knew to be a CPM supporter.
The second was ignoring a summons from the party, which wanted to act judge in the matter.
The 35-year-old engineer was kicked and punched in full public glare for about 15 minutes — till he dropped bleeding and unconscious on G.T. Road — yards from his home in Bally on Thursday night.
His family said the attackers were a gang of about 15 — all of them CPM supporters.
Prasenjit, who owns a consultancy firm, was chatting to friends around 9.30 pm when the men came for him.
“They asked me to accompany them to the CPM’s Palpara office. We had walked just a few yards when they suddenly pounced on me,” the victim said from his bed in a city clinic.
The Ghosh family said none of those named in the FIR — Sudeb Guha, Rabi Bose, Sankar Maitra, Kishu Bhaduri and Rana Ganguly —had been arrested, courtesy their CPM connection.
“It was an incident over eve-teasing. We are inquiring into the matter. So far, no arrests have been made,” Howrah police chief Niraj Singh said.
The Ghoshes said the man at the bottom of it all was a CPM supporter, Krishnendu Halder, who had been harassing Prasenjit’s wife Sharmistha for over a month. Halder is a tenant at a multi-storey building next door to the Ghoshes’ G.T. Road home.
“We had seen him trying to take photographs of my wife from his balcony. He had sent lewd SMSes to my wife and was constantly harassing her. I told him to behave himself earlier this week,” Prasenjit said.
Halder lodged a complaint with Bally police station alleging Prasenjit had slapped him.
Around 6.30 on Thursday evening, a group of CPM supporters arrived at the Ghoshes’ home and told Prasenjit’s mother to send him to the Palpara party office by 9. He didn’t go.
“So they came to teach me a lesson. They attacked me without any provocation and did not even let me tell my side of the story,” Prasenjit said.
For 10 minutes he lay bleeding and senseless on the roadside, none daring to come to his aid, till brother Chandrajit reached the spot. Prasenjit was taken to a local nursing home which referred him to another clinic.
“They (the CPM supporters) followed us even to the nursing home. Two of them threatened me, asking me to leave the nursing home. They tried to scare us in every possible way,” Chandrajit said.
The Howrah CPM leadership wouldn’t admit the involvement of party workers. Sridip Bhattacharjee, district committee secretary, said: “We can’t comment or take action without getting all the details.”
The Ghoshes live in fear of fresh attacks by those named in the FIR. Few in the neighbourhood would even talk about Thursday’s incident, which occurred on a thoroughfare with a fairly large crowd watching.