17th August 2014 managed to prove to the people of West Bengal yet again that no matter how much we used to boast of democratic space, peace and security of women in our state, those are the days to remembered using the phrase ‘Once upon a time’. The present is a state of anarchy and brutalism which would send chills down the spines of even the most dreaded tyrants.
18th was the day when Bengal saw how a local AIDWA (All India Democratic Women’s Association) activist was tortured, gangraped and then murdered by the local Trinamool workers after she failed to pay an extortion money of Rs. 15 Lakhs to let her husband Bymokesh Giri (a Local Committee member of CPI(M)) return to the village. Her husband, a parateacher of Ghoraghata Adarsha High School (H.S.) by profession, was forced to flee the village after the PARIBARTAN (‘Change’) ushered in our state. Their son Debojyoti Giri, a Class XII student is also homeless and could not appear for his Higher Secondary examinations. Her father-in-law, a nonagenarian found wanting for some food the day after the brutal incident occurred, as the villagers of Suniya (near Kanthi) were barred from keeping any contact with the family (as per injunction of the local Trinamool Congress).
The woman, an ICDS worker, was being threatened repeatedly since August 15. On 17th August Sunday, her house was being surrounded by a mob of around 20 Trinamool workers who had threatened her “We are arriving in the noon. Be ready.” As she attempted to flee the village in the noon, she was captured, attacked and stripped. She was paraded naked in the village, and then was gangraped, murdered and her corpse was being hung.
Even though the Trinamool Congress is attempting its best to distance itself from this barbaric incident, and the Superintendent of Police is doing his best to prove it a suicide, her bleeding head and her family would differ. So would the terror-stricken villagers.
On the same night, a half-naked corpse of a 13-year old minor girl was being found in the premises of a private B.Ed College in Sherpur village of Amta. Circumstantial evidences suggest a rape, probably a gangrape before her head and face were being crushed by blunt objects. Pieces of glass of broken liquor bottles were also found in the spot.
While the incident of Amta made us remember the Kamduni, Khorjuna yet again, the use of gangrape and murder as a weapon for political vengeance (as in Kanthi) reminded us of medieval barbarism, and we must again feel how helpless the women of Bengal are in this regime. But they are to fight for their safety, for their rights. Justice might be denied for once, but it must prevail. And if it is not upto the government to ensure it, people would ensure that justice prevails, for it is people who scripts history.