In a stunning revelation, leaders of some tribal organisations in and around Kolkata have claimed that a non-tribal Trinamool Congress panchayat member had convened the salishi sabha (kangaroo court) that allegedly ordered the gang rape of a girl on January 21.
Leaders of Kolkata Adibasi Youth Association (KAYA) and Hooghly Majhi Marwa (HMM) said on Friday that Trinamool gram panchayat member Ajay Mondal convened the kangaroo court in the Subalpur village of Birbhum’s Labhpur, and the community chief Balai Mandi—the main accused in the rape — did not give his consent to the resolution adopted in the court.
They pointed out that Mondal even signed the resolution (of which HT has a copy) and that Mandi’s name did not appear in the list of signatories. The second signatory is Sekhar Bairagya, another local Trinamool leader and the third signature is that of the victim’s boyfriend.
Police have, however, arrested Mandi and 12 residents of the village — all tribals — while Mondal has remained untraceable.
“In salishi sabhas convened by tribals, no non-tribals are allowed. How come people from other communities participated?” said Baidyanath Hansda, KAYA secretary. The kangaroo court in question was summoned on January 20 and the resolution was taken the next day. The girl filed a complaint on January 22, alleging she and her lover, a 24-year-old mason, had been tied to a tree for hours and slapped with fines of Rs 5,000 and Rs 50,000 by the court.
Victim discharged from hospital
After a nine-day stay, the victim was released from hospital on Friday morning. The mother-daughter duo have been kept at a welfare home in Suri with adequate security.