Wasn’t raped, Sandeshkhali ‘survivor’ says in video | India News

SANDESHKHALI: An older video of BJP’s Basirhat candidate Rekha Patra purportedly suggesting that some of the Sandeshkhali “rape survivors” taken to Delhi to meet President Murmu may have been “paid to impersonate” Thursday added grist to Trinamool’s allegations about the unrest in this Bengal pocket being engineered by the saffron party.
Patra’s video, part of an interview she had given to a TV channel before her nomination, surfaced along with another clip showing one of the “survivors” telling a reporter that BJP members made her sign a blank sheet of paper without disclosing what it was for.She denied facing sexual assault or visiting a police station to lodge a complaint, reports Sanjib Chakraborty.


As clips emerge, TMC asks: Did BJP mislead Prez on Sandeshkhali?
Rekha Patra, who filed her nomination for the Basirhat seat Thursday — Sandeshkhali is part of the constituency — declined comment on the controversy. TMC’s counter-attack started with two videos that emerged last week, one of them of a purported sting. The party presented this as “evidence” of BJP’s Bengal brass, including Nandigram MLA Suvendu Adhikari, allegedly instigating or intimidating several women from Sandeshkhali into filing concocted rape complaints.
TMC moved Election Commission, seeking custodial interrogation of everyone featuring and being named in the videos. The sting purports to show BJP’s Sandeshkhali Block-II chief Gangadhar Koyal admitting that the “Sandeshkhali movement” was Adhikari’s brainchild and that the rape complainants did what they were told to.
On Wednesday, the first of the “survivors” did an about-turn, saying she faced no such assault and that local BJP members forced her to sign a blank sheet of paper and approach police. She complained of threats and a social boycott because of her decision to withdraw the allegedly false charge of rape.
The other “survivor” who came clean is seen in the video telling reporters a local BJP Mahila Morcha member identified as Piyali, aka Mampi Das, took her and some others to meet a team from National Commission for Women.
In the oldest of the clips, BJP candidate Patra refers to 11 people from Sandeshkhali, including five women, meeting Prez Murmu on March 11. “We are the real victims, we are still in Sandeshkhali. Then who are those who were taken to Delhi to meet Rashtrapati Madam? Nobody informed us before the meeting,” she is heard saying.
Two other women, including BJP worker Piyali, purportedly feature in the same video.
“We learned only from the media that some women were taken to Delhi to meet Prez. Anup Das (a fellow BJP worker), who used to be paid Rs 10,000 by Trinamool’s Shibaprasad Hazra a month, took these women to Delhi,” Piyali tells the reporter.
Anup wasn’t available for comment, but Bengal BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya defended him. “Anup has been with BJP for over a decade and has helped the Sandeshkhali survivors get legal assistance. He didn’t do anything wrong. (Rekha) Patra joined BJP after the Sandeshkhali movement,” he said.
Bengal’s BJP co-minder Amit Malviya argued that Patra never suggested that crimes didn’t take place in Sandeshkhali. “First attempt was to put out a fake, AI-generated video, claiming that the movement was orchestrated and funded (by Adhikari),” he wrote on X.
Trinamool accused BJP brass of spinning “a web of lies and deceit”.
“Can we say that BJP even misled Prez? How could the delegation from Sandeshkhali go and meet Murmu without the approval of the party leadership? To what depravity will BJP plunge for some votes?” state finance minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said.
Sandeshkhali police issued notice to BJP worker Piyali under Section 41A of CrPC asking her to report at the local police station within three days. Another complaint was lodged at the police station against BJP candidate Patra and Koyal.


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