A kidnapped girl, communal politics and an election year ahead

Hindu teenage girl allegedly ‘kidnapped’, BJP plans ‘Beti Bachaao’ campaign but the girl returns herself

By Zaidul Haque, TwoCircles.net,

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Kolkata: The BJP in West Bengal does not want to leave anything to chance ahead of the 2016 assembly elections. Any and every single incident is converted into a possible election issue. This is being done to polarize the voters against the ruling party, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) has claimed.

State BJP president Rahul Sinha visiting the Tuktuki’s parents house at village Enayetpur.

Earlier this week, a Hindu teenage girl, allegedly kidnapped by Muslim lover, came back on her own but refused to go back to her own family. Since the time she had gone missing, BJP and Sangh Parivar organisations had started ‘Beti Bachao’ movement.

Subhash Mondal, a resident of Enayetpur Sree village under the Mograhat police station of South 24 Parganas district, 55 kms away from Kolkata, had alleged that his daughter Tuktuki Mondal, 14, reading in class X, was kidnapped by Muslim miscreants on May 5 from his home. He lodged a complaint with the local police station at Mograhat on May 9.

In between, Tapan Ghosh, president of an RSS’s frontal organization ‘Hindu Sanghati’ started campaigning against Muslim youths in Mograhat and alleged, “Hindu girls are being kidnapped by Muslim youth. Hindu girls are not safe in Mograhat.” He spread the matter throughout the state and demanded that the girl be found immediately.

Two months later, the state BJP jumped into the fray and joined hands with Hindu Sanghati. State BJP president Rahul Sinha and other leades such as Ritesh Tewary, Amitabha Roy, Debatosh Acharya and Krishanu Mitra took up the matter and organised sit-in dharna demonstration in front of the Mograhat police station on Thursday, July 16, 2015.

“Two months ago, Babusona Gazi and his team kidnapped Tuktuki from her home at night threatening her with arms. Tuktuki’s father has lodged a complaint against them but the police has not taken any initiative to arrest the culprits, because they are supported by Trinamool Congress and even by the district administration,” Sinha said then.

State BJP President during a demonstration in of Mograhat Police station on July 16

Tuktuki’s father appealed to the Chief Minister, but even then the police did nothing, he alleged.

However, Sunil Chowdhury, district superintendent of police said, police had already started investigation and will find the girls as soon as possible.

Clearly aiming at the elections next year, BJP seriously started using the issue as a political weapon against Trinamool Congress. “Hindu girls are not safe in Mograhat. That is happening in whole the country. It should be stopped. A strong movement nationwide is needed under the ‘Beti Banchao’ campaign,” Siddhartha Nath alleged on Saturday, July 17. Nath, BJP’s central leader and observer for West Bengal, who had joined Sinha at Mograhat.

Later on Sunday, July 19, M J Akbar, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) too went to Mograhat and demanded immediate arrest of the culprits.

In the meantime, Hindu Sanghati had taken the matter to the Calcutta High Court. Lawyer Debdutta Majhi said, Calcutta High Court ordered the district police official to submit the reports on missing girl by July 27.

Along with Hindu Sanghati, BJP leaders raised their voice against Trinamool Congress. It ensued a war of words between the two parties. Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Banerjee criticized the BJP at a grand rally organized by TMC on July 21 in Kolkata as he said: “In Mograhat, the BJP is carrying out a drama using a young girl. They have no other issue, so they are trying to get political advantage, which is shame for the state. BJP will never gain in politics.”

Partho Chatterjee, TMC general secretary, echoed the sentiment and without naming Mograhat incident, claimed that BJP is trying to play communal cards, but they will not succeed.
Where was Tuktuki? Where is Tuktuki?

Tuktuki’s parent are now living in Kolkata for their own safety as they alleged, “Some miscreants are threatened to kill us.” Realising that the BJP may turn it into a communal matter now and in future ahead of the assembly election, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee voiced her concerned about communal forces at Eid Ul Fitr gathering on July 18 and appealed to stop any kinds of communal activities in the state such as riots.

Sovan Chatterjee, Mayor of Kolkata Corporation, and president of South 24 Parganas district of TMC, said there is no involvement of TMC. “It is merely a love affair, nothing communal. Police is looking into this matter,” he said.

The BJP, in the meanwhile, took the matter to the National Commission for Women. On Monday, July 20, the NCW chairperson Lalita Kumar Mangalam talked to Tuktuki’s family members. “Women are not safe in West Bengal. In case of Mograhat incident, the police have not taken the initiative,” she later told the reporters.

Incidentally, on Monday itself, Anuj Sharma, Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) of West Bengal, claimed at a press conference that, Tuktuki Mondal returned herself but did not want to return to her father’s house. “Tuktuki told police that she fled from her house herself. No one had kidnapped her. Few month ago too, she had fled away similarly, but eventually returned,” Sharma claimed.

Sharma informed that Tuktuki was taken to a ‘Womens Home’.

But Susbhash Mondal demanded his daughter be returned to him. When TCN contacted BJP’s Rahul Sinha after the news of Tuktuki’s return, he was not willing to comment saying he will comment after getting details of latest situation.

Tuktuki’s past

According to a petition by Subhash Mondal submitted to the state Home secretary: “Tuktuki had gone to a nationalized bank in their locality on February 25 to check her balance under the ‘Kannyashri’ account (a government scheme of fellowship). That time, Babusona Gazi, Prabir Sarkar and Bhanu Mondal, three young men picked her up. I lodged a complaint the same day. Next month, the police informed that my daughter had stayed at Babusona Gazi’s house. We reached his house to recover my daughter.”

“Then Babusona and his aides told me to withdraw the complaint. I gave that in writing and took my daughter home. I realised that my daughter was raped. On March 8, after direction of Circle Inspector of Police Mrinalkanti Sarkar, I wrote a representation to the Mograhat police station and asked for medical test. Due to disagreement on the issue of medical test, Tuktuki was taken away to a Juvenile Home at Narendrapur,” the petition said.

She had in fact told the IC of police Mrinalkanti Sarkar that she was not raped by any one and hence did not agree to the medical tests. She was hence transferred to the Juvenile Home.

She was later transferred to Lakshmikantapur Home. The father then requested to Home Department authorities to hand over his daughter because her Madhyamik (class X) examination was to start on April. On April 11, Tuktuki returned home. The exam was to continue till May 8.

“I had arranged to marry my daughter on May 9 but on May 5 she was kidnapped from my house,” Mondal complained.

On July 21, however, police presented Tuktuki Mondal in front of the Diamond Harbour ACJM Court. Tuktuki gave her secret statement to the Magistrate. Tuktuki told the Magistrate that she ‘fled’ from home in the name of going to Hansuri High School at Chakdaha More. She also told the Magistrate that she is not willing to return to her parents’ home.

After recording her statement, Monodip Dasgupta, Judge of the Diamond Harbour ACJM, ordered that she be kept at a Juvenile Home.

BJP’s Rahul Sinha was quick to take credit. “It was only after BJP’s agitation that the girl returned and police found her.”

Earlier, after facing criticisms from the BJP, TMC MP Derek O’Brien took on to Twitter to criticise the opposition. In a series of tweets, he wrote, “So the ‘kidnapped girl’ case in Mograhat turned out to be a TwitterHoax, pushed by one TV channel and the Sanghi’s online fundoos,” adding, “Mograhat girl returned home safe, denied kidnapping. Rightwing tried communal card before Eid.”