West Bengal tribal women allege police excesses, demand action

December 4th, 2008 - 6:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Dec 4 (IANS) A group of tribal women in West Bengal has filed a complaint against police officers who, they alleged, tortured villagers during the probe into a landmine ambush of the chief minister’s convoy Nov 2 in West Midnapore district. The women demanded stern punishment to the police officers.”We’ve received a written complaint from the tribal women who claimed they were tortured by police officers during the course of investigation. We’re now looking into the matter,” West Midnapore District Magistrate N.S Nigam told IANS Thursday.

A section of tribals, led by Police Santras Birodhhi Committee (anti-police atrocity committee) members, Wednesday also clashed with the police, sparking tension in the violence-hit region.

The clash took place Wednesday when hundreds of tribal villagers came to Kalaboni area in the district to dig up roads, but were prevented by the police from snapping off road communication.

Later, the police also resorted to baton charge to control the mob.

Nigam said: “We’ve got another complaint on behalf of the Congress party today (Thursday), demanding an enquiry into the matter. But we’d already initiated our probe.”

State Home Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborty, on his visit to Lalgarh last month, said the government would take action against the police officers if found guilty.

Trouble erupted in the tribal-dominated areas of West Midnapore district after the district police arrested some school students and allegedly heckled tribal women in connection with the blast at Bhadutala near Salboni.

The protesters dug up metalled roads and placed big tree trunks across them, virtually cutting off the region from the rest of the district.

They had also demanded a public apology from the district police for the alleged excesses committed against them during the course of investigation into the landmine blast.

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