The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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CPM councillors in hair chop row

Siliguri, April 19: A woman from the Senpara area of Jalpaiguri town filed an FIR against two CPM councillors today for parading her in public with her hair chopped off and eyebrows shaved.

The councillors have denied the charges but said they were against Parul Mukherjee’s (name changed) illicit relationship with a carpenter of Arabindanagar, another area in the town.

The complaint states that a mob led by Sampa Majumdar, the CPM councillor of Ward 3 where Parul lives, and Durba Banerjee, the leader in Opposition at the Congress-led municipality, had barged into her house at 11 am yesterday.

“They cut off my hair and shaved off parts of my eyebrows while alleging that I had an illicit relationship with a married man. I was even forced to put on a garland of shoes and paraded in the area. They took me to the local police station and made me sign on a blank paper,” said Parul, a casual attendant at the district hospital. The paper, reportedly submitted to the police, says that Parul has vouched “(from now on) not to have any illicit relationship”.

The CPM councillors, however, denied that they were on the spot when the incident took place. “People had complained to me about her character. I had even warned her to rectify herself or else leave the locality,” said Majumdar. “By the time I reached her house yesterday, her hair had already been cut off.”

Banerjee, on his part, said: “I went to the police station after I heard of the incident.”

This morning, Youth Congress leaders, led by the district president Saikat Chatterjee, who is also a lawyer, took Parul to the police station and presented her before the media. “A police complaint has been filed against the councillors and two other persons for harassment and assault,” Chatterjee said. “We will also take it up with the human rights commission.”

Officials at the Kotwali police station said the people who had brought Parul had assured them yesterday that they would “settle the matter mutually”.

“If there has been a specific complaint, a case will be started and the accused arrested,” said Tapas Das, the Jalpaiguri additional superintendent of police.

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