31 July 2009

AIDWA condemns the brutal and continuous violence perpetrated by TMC members against Anjali Maiti, a leader of the W. Bengal unit of AIDWA.

Anjali Maiti is a resident of the village of Uttar Kalamdan in Birbandar village panchayat within Khejuri-1 Block in East Medinipur. She is a local leader of West Bengal Ganatantrik Mahila Samiti, and her husband Balai Maiti is the secretary of the local wing of Kisan Sabha. They have a six year-old daughter. After the Lok Sabha elections, when TMC won the Tamluk seat which includes Khejuri, Balai Maiti’s life was under threat and he escaped to the sub-divisional town of Tamluk like many other CPI (M) workers, leaving his wife and child behind. His home became a target of TMC goons who looted fish from the pond and coconuts from the trees and prevented agricultural work on the plot of land they possessed. They also kept Anjali under constant surveillance so that she became completely cut off from her husband. They kept on threatening her that unless she gave them the whereabouts of her husband, they would spare neither her nor her child. About a fortnight back, they attacked her house and beat her up brutally after having tied her up. They also crushed her left hand with blunt weapons and then departed saying that unless she could produce her husband within seven days, they would come back and teach her a further lesson. They kept vigilance so that she would not be able to communicate with anyone or inform the police at nearby Heria Police Station.

Once they came back, she was virtually their prisoner and the subject of their sexual brutality for seven days continuously. If the child uttered even a cry on seeing her mother being thus tortured, they would gag her and threaten to kill her. She could not even move out of her home to get herself medicines.  At the end of seven days, a desperate Anjali managed to escape at dead of night on 27 July, walking all the way to Heria and then taking an early morning bus to Tamluk, where she was able to find her husband in a camp where other displaced persons were staying. In spite of her traumatized state, she
was brave enough to go and lodge a FIR with the district SP Pallabkanti Ghosh with the help of Ganatantrik Mahila Samiti. At present, she has been admitted to the Tamluk District Hospital for treatment.

It is most unfortunate that this horrific incident has received no attention from the national print and electronic media, and has been referred to only in a few Bengali papers. 

AIDWA demands that the perpetrators of this kind of politically motivated violence must be arrested immediately and there should be exemplary punishment meted out to the accused. We call on all democratic forces interested in justice to victims of violence, and also the media to  speak up on behalf of Anjali Maiti who was brutalized for no other reason but her political affiliation.