August 19, 2009


KHEJURI, 30th JULY: Anjali Maity is a housewife, and is of 30-odd years. She lives in the quiet of the shaded by trees village of Uttar Kalam under the Tikashi Gram Panchayat (GP) in Khejuri, Midnapore east. She leads the local unit of the AIDWA. She has stood stoutly by the side of her comrades when the Trinamuli goons started to harass them, and worse, targeting every single CPI (M) worker in the small hamlet, in the wake of their raucous electoral success at the GP polls.

We have a recent incident of deep political disturbance that occurred to Anjali on the night of 23 July. Anjali lives alone, for her husband, Balai, a CPI (M) worker, has been forced to flee their humble residence because of threats on his life by the local Trinamul toughs. Indeed, Anjali it was who insisted that Balai move out for the time being as a tactical move.

Then something terrible happened. Soft-spoken, mild-mannered Anjali had her residence broken into by Trinamul hoodlums, there were 25-odd men in inebriated state, and they beat Anjali to an inch of death and then gagged and kidnapped her, secreting her away in a remote art of the village as the skies opened up, rain poured down, and her cries for help could not be heard in the boom of the thunder-and-lightening.

She was then overpowered, her modesty outraged, and fingers of her hand broken for having the boldness to fight back. This went on for seven days, seven nights, and the Trinamulis spread the confident and authentic-sounding word around that Anjali had gone away to join her husband.

Anjali bore the torture with fortitude and she would struggle very hard indeed not to sign away the small piece of land that she owned and which the Trinamulis lusted for. She failed. Nevertheless, she did succeed in taking advantage of a momentary lapse of vigilance by her hated captors, jumped from a first floor window and ran for the nearest CPI (M) office in the dark and silence of another rainy night.

Since, she has been moved to a hospital, and a police case has been started against the perpetrators of the crime most of whose names she has informed the authorities. Bengal AIDWA has called upon the state home secretary urging upon him to bring the guilty to book.

The incidence drips sadness and outrage at the same time and, looking back, one considers it a great a pity that the Uttar Kalam village allowed a bunch of Trinamuli gangsters to get away with a win in the GP elections.

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