KEY POINTS

  • Two women were allegedly gang-raped in May by workers of an Indian political party in the state of West Bengal
  • The women, aged 60 and 17, have sought a court-monitored probe into the alleged incidents in separate pleas
  • One person has been arrested in the elderly woman's case, while three were detained for the teen's

Two women in West Bengal, India, have urged the Supreme Court to launch investigations after they were allegedly gang-raped by supporters of the state's ruling political party during the violence that occurred following the March and April Assembly elections.

A 60-year-old woman alleged that a mob of around 100 to 200 supporters of the ruling All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) party — which secured a third term in power — had surrounded her house on May 3 following the declaration of Assembly poll results. They allegedly threatened to bomb her home, the Times of India reported.

According to her plea, she was with her 6-year-old grandchild when five TMC men barged into her home in a village in Purba Medinipur the following night and gang-raped her.

The elderly woman was allegedly slapped, beaten, handcuffed and tied to a bed "as the criminals forced themselves on her," The Indian Express reported. She said the men allegedly also stole all of their valuables.

The woman was admitted to a private hospital, and medical tests allegedly confirmed she was raped, the plea said. 

The alleged second victim, a 17-year-old girl, claimed in her plea that she was gang-raped by TMC workers on May 9 "solely for her family's political affiliations and religious beliefs."

Four men allegedly stopped the teen and her friend and dragged them to a nearby jungle while shouting, "Now we will teach you a lesson for supporting BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). Your families should know this is the outcome of opposing our leader," according to her plea.

The men then allegedly took turns raping her for more than an hour, the plea said. She was found unconscious after the friend was able to flee and lead the teen's family to the scene. The teen said in her application that one of the men allegedly involved has not yet been arrested.

Both the elderly woman and the girl sought in two separate pleas a court-monitored probe by the police's special investigation team (SIT) or the national Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), The Times Now reported.

"My mother-in-law was threatened many times after the polls. That night, they raped her and even tried to poison her. Her grandchild was in the room and he hid under the bed. I lodged a police complaint but only one person was arrested. The rest of the accused are roaming free. We have no faith in the police. That is why we approached the Supreme Court," the elderly woman's son-in-law told The Indian Express.

A neighbor of the 17-year-old girl who is a BJP worker was quoted as saying, "The girl’s family are all supporters of our party. We do not trust the police here."

Police said one person has been arrested for the alleged rape of the 60-year-old woman, while three persons have been held in the case of the teen.

Both women are also requesting the court for them to be made parties in a pending petition filed by the brother of Abhijit Sarkar, a worker for the BJP who was allegedly killed by his TMC counterparts during the post-poll violence in May.

Rajib Hossain, a district general secretary of Trinamool Congress, was quoted by The Indian Express as saying, "There is no truth in the allegation. We have faith in the judiciary. The BJP is taking these matters to the Supreme Court because they cannot accept their defeat."

bangladesh-6139437_1920 Representation. Two women, aged 60 and 17, have urged the Supreme Court to launch investigations after they were allegedly gang-raped by supporters of the ruling All India Trinamool Congress party during the violence that occurred in West Bengal following the March and April Assembly elections. Photo: Pixabay