Woman 'stripped, assaulted' by CPM cadres

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Nandigram, May 6 (UNI) A 28-year-old woman was allegedly stripped and severely beaten up by CPI(M) activists for refusing to join their procession.

Eyewitnesses alleged that the naked woman, a Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee (BUPC) supporter, was chased by CPI(M) cadres for almost half a kilometre from Keyakhali to Brindaban Chowk yesterday.

However, to protest the assault, she refused a sari offered by a police team, following which, she was again beaten up mercilessly in front of the police, the eyewitnesses said.

Later, police took the woman in a trekker and admitted her to the Nandigram Hospital, where Dr Susmita Pal, attending on her, confirmed that she had been severely assaulted.

The CPI(M), however, denied the allegations and the police too said no one had been beaten up in their presence.

After receiving treatment at the hospital, the woman alleged that CPI(M) cadres had entered their village Keyakhali and fired indiscriminately and hurled bombs at their houses.

She said the men entered her house and forced her husband and eight-year-old son to join a CPI(M) procession.

When she protested, the intruders stripped and assaulted her.

Meanwhile, both her husband and son were untraceable since they were dragged to the procession.

Block Medical Officer of Nandigram Subhabrata Maity said the woman had bruises and injuries all over her body, proving the fact that she was severely assaulted.

Several other eyewitnesses also corroborated the woman's account.

Police admitted that a complaint of stripping had been received.

''We are investigating into the matter on the basis of the complaint,'' East Midnapore SP S S Panda said.

The CPI(M) activists had allegedly fired at BUPC supporters yesterday, injuring at least ten of them at Sonachura, Gokulnagar and Raynagar villages under East Midnapore district.

The attacks came barely six days before the first phase Panchayat election beginning May 11.

Official sources said the injured were rushed to the Nandigram hospital where the condition of two of them was stated to be critical.

Three armed teams of CPI(M) activists, each comprising about 70 to 80 cadres, had allegedly driven out around 500 BUPC supporters from Sonachura, Gokulnagar and Roynagar villages.

About 60 people have been injured in pre-poll violence in East and West Midnapore districts so far.


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