Yesterday, on 27 January 2014, I visited the Subalpur vilage of Labhpur Police Station in Birbhum district of West Bengal. Today, a group of Honourable Judges from District Court visited the place under guidance of Supreme Court, the highest court of India.
I, along with my ‘Hindu Samhati’ team and a few Santhal tribal friends, visited the village to take stock of present situation, condition of the villagers and also to help them in their difficult times because 13 male persons of this 28 family village are now languishing in police custody.
Today there was elaborate police arrangements for the visit of honourable judges. They were not pleased to see us on this day. But we were determined to fulfill our duty. We had some relief materials with us.
The villagers are so scared that at first they were not coming near us. It took only a few minutes to me to make me familiar to them. Clearly, we were the first team in this village after that fateful day who showed some sympathy to them. These almost illiterate villagers understood that the whole world is seeing them as inhuman beastly creatures who support gang rape of their own girl.
From day one, I was confident that this is a false concocted story not only to defame the Santhal tribals, but also to break the spine of this courageous community who are trying hard to preserve their culture and protect the honor of their women from the lust of Muslim miscreants in a very wide region of West Bengal and Jharkhand. So, today I had no hesitation to express my support and sympathy to these hapless Santhal (tribal) villagers openly. Within a few minutes, they understood that we are different from other visitors who have thronged their village since last 4 days.
Then they opened up their mind and narrated in detail the incident of 20, 21 & 22 January. We took some video interviews of their womenfolk. At this moment, I’m unable to narrate their painful stories in full extent. But there is no doubt that this is a conspiracy of local ruling party TMC Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Manirul Islam, a Muslim, who has switched over to Trinamool Congress (TMC) from Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPIM). He is the accused in murder case of 3 people, was in jail and erstwhile ruling party CPIM helped him getting bail in this case. Now he is most influential TMC leader in the Birbhum district after Anubrata Mukherjee. Some political observer says that Manirul is doing CPIM’s work, i.e. to defame TMC from inside TMC.
However, after hearing the painful stories from the villagers, we distribute the materials to them with the help of a few young people from them. In this village, there are total 29 families (the village chaukidar Kartick Murmu helped us getting the list) out of which 12 male persons of 11 families have been arrested. 1 more arrested from another village who is non-tribal. For all these 11 victim tribal families, we took for them blankets, sarees, chadars (scarfs), woolen t-shirts, 50 kilogram rice and 25 kilogram potatoes for each family. In addition to this, we gave one thousand rupees (Rs.1000/-) to all 29 families. (Photos attached)
Before visiting the village, we went to Bolpur court and collected the copy of the FIR and a copy of the resolution/outcome of the village meeting (which has been twisted/misquoted as ‘Kangaroo court’ in media intriguingly ignoring the fact that numerous times, there are many many govt. administrative officers, BDO, SDO, OC, SDPO, SP, etc, who call this type of meetings to solve the local disputes bypassing the procedure of law – under pressure of their political bosses or Muslim community).
I must mention before I conclude that in this case, CPIM is playing a very dirty role to score their political point against ruling TMC. Everybody knows the actual story. The so-called victim girl has written in her complaint (on basis of which the case has been registered and 13 persons arrested) that she was to marry Khalek Sheikh of Chouhatta village, and Khalek Sheikh came to her house for discussing the marriage. This Muslim man Khalek Sheikh is already married and has 2 children. His wife Hasina Bibi confirmed that their 15 year old daughter’s marriage preparation is going on.
This Khalek Sheikh, villagers complained, has illicit relations with this village’s so-called victim girl of Santhal community. Khalek gives her a lot of money. Hence this is a type of prostitution, villagers alleged, due to which this village’s environment was being badly vitiated. Hence, the community elders and women repeatedly told her to leave the village. But the 20 year old girl refused to obey them. Therefore, the village women were watchful and determined to catch them red handed and end the matter by compelling that girl to leave the village. However they had no idea that this would bring so much trouble and so much ignominy to the entire community.
CPIM is trying to convey to the world that this was not any ‘salishi sabha’ of the tribals but this meeting/court was convened by TMC, and that TMC leaders ordered the gang rape. CPIM provides alleged proof of it by displaying signatures of 3 TMC panchayat members on the paper of the meeting’s outcome. But thisis absolutely untrue. When villagers handed over the culprit Khalek Sheikh to his brother Sheikh Farookh, they knew very well that Khalek and his co-conspirators would try to frame them in false cases of torture, loot, etc. Therefore, the villagers compelled the 3 TMC panchayat members to sign the paper as witnesses that Khalek has been handed over unharmed to his brother. Hence the signatures of 3 elected TMC members. This meeting was of the tribals’ community meeting.
P.S: Today (January 28), the tribal people from Subalpur village informed me that yesterday night, after we left the village, police misbehaved with the villagers. One officer entered the house of Sanatan Murmu and abused him in filthy language because food was being prepared in his house for some other tribals. That officer threatened him that if he (Sanatan) takes further interest in this matter, his house will be ransacked and he will be ruined.
I would like to attract the attention of the newly appointed SP of Birbhum dist. Mr. Alok Rajoria and urge him to ask his men of Labhpur PS to behave properly. To play with the honor and sentiment of the Tribal people may not be a very safe option.
Source: Hindu Samhanti