Monday, 30th October 2017

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Ruchira woman cries double defamation

Residents’ association notice calls behaviour disgraceful and rowdy

By Subhankar Chowdhury in Calcutta
  • Published 10.08.19, 2:08 AM
  • Updated 10.08.19, 2:08 AM
  • 2 mins read
Ruchira Residency Picture by Gautam Bose

A 22-year-old woman who had accused the president of her housing society of refusing to listen to her complaint about a leaking tap because she was in shorts and a top alleged on Friday that she had been subjected to a slanderous campaign by the association for daring to protest.

The former student of Presidency University, Yishi Chakrabarty, deposed before the West Bengal Commission for Women on Friday afternoon.

The president of the Ruchira Residency Apartment Owners’ Association, Nibir Dasgupta, was also scheduled to appear before the panel on Friday but excused himself saying he was out of town and would be back only on September 20.

Yishi had accused Dasgupta of saying she was “dressed like a woman of the streets”.

While recording her statement before the commission on Friday, Yishi alleged that Dasgupta had once again defamed her by putting up a notice that stated “defying any dignity she barged into the office (of the association on July 22) in a disgraceful manner”.

Yishi has submitted screenshots from a WhatsApp group chat of Ruchira Residency owners where Dasgupta had described her as a woman wearing “skimpy dresses”, a commission official said.

“Last night at 8:00 pm a young girl with skimpy dresses suddenly appeared in office started talking in disgraceful manner in front of other 5-6 senior members,” Dasgupta allegedly wrote in the chat on July 23, a screenshot of which Yishi has shared with the commission.

The commission would ask Dasgupta to appear before it after September 20, said Leena Gangopadhyay, the chairperson of the commission.

Dasgupta had told Metro on July 29: “I did tell her that she was not properly dressed because several elderly persons were sitting in the office”. He secured anticipatory bail on August 1.

Repeated calls to Dasgupta’s mobile went unanswered on Friday. He also did not reply to text messages.

Yishi, too, declined to comment on Friday.

“The woman has alleged that the association is trying to defame her by putting up notices in various parts of the apartment block. She has submitted documentary evidence in support of her allegations. We will soon write to the association, seeking to know why such a notice was put up,” Gangopadhyay said.

The association’s “disgraceful manner” notice details proceedings of a meeting of its board of managers on August 4. The notice, signed by Dasgupta, states: “It was observed that defying any dignity the girl of about 20 years barged into the office in a disgraceful manner. Her rowdy and noisy interaction with the president made the other members intervene which made the girl exit after assaulting an octogenarian member.”

The board of managers comprises 24 elected home owners of the complex off the EM Bypass. The meeting was attended by 18 members.

The notice was put up on the notice boards of each of the eight towers of Ruchira on August 7.

“The woman said the notice was nothing but a ‘blatant lie’. She also alleged that through the notice the president of the association had again defamed her. She argued that Dasgupta first refused to listen to her coplaint about a leaking tap and request to let a plumber in beyond the stipulated hours on the ground that she was inappropriately dressed. Now he is accusing her of behaving in a disgraceful manner to defame her further,” a commission official said.

Yishi had written to the commission on July 24. She also sent a mail to the Calcutta police commissioner the same day, based on which police started a case on July 29 under IPC sections related to outrage of modesty by words and gestures against a member of the owners’ association.

“We would also ask the police to inform us what actions they have taken so far,’’ the women’s commission chief said.