Kolkata, August 21: A woman was allegedly gangraped by four men, including a local Panchayat member, after she demanded "cut money" refund. The incident took place in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district on August 14, while a complaint was filed at Moynaguri police station on Monday. According to the police, all four accused are absconding and efforts were being made to nab them.
The woman allegedly paid Rs 7,000 as "cut money" to Panchayat member Mohammad BulBul Alam who in return had assured her of providing a house under the Gitanjali Awas Yojna, a scheme by the West Bengal government to provide free shelter to the poor. However, Alam didn't keep his promise and even refused to return the "cut money" he had taken. 'Jai Shri Ram Effects, Bold Step of Cut Money': Question Paper of West Bengal School Asks Students to Write on The 2 Topics In Exam.
When the woman continued to ask for a refund of the money, Alam asked her to meet him at an isolated place on August 14. "When she reached there, the accused and three of his friends allegedly gangraped her," a police official was quoted by The Indian Express as saying. The accused allegedly threatened to kill her if she opens her mouth. Woman Dies After Protesting Against 'Cut Money' Issue.
When family members of the victim came to know about the incident, they took her to the police station to file a complaint. "We have received a complaint. The victim has undergone medical examination. We are waiting for the medical reports. Hunt is on to trace the accused," a senior police officer from Jalpaiguri said.
Three other accused have been identified as Zaidul Islam, Jainal Abedin and Afidul Haq. The "cut money" issue took a political turn after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who lashed out at leaders of her Trinamool Congress (TMC) for taking cut money (commission) and ordered them to return the money to the public.
Banerjee, however, clarified later that her message was not just directed at her party but to all the political parties in general, as well as the state government officials, so that people get the benefit of the welfare schemes.