Vol. XLIII No. 14 April 07, 2019
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AIDWA condemns ‘Honour Killing’ in West Bengal

AIDWA strongly condemns the heinous incident of so-called ‘honour killing’ which took place recently in village Eruar, under Bhatar Thana, district Burdwan, in West Bengal. Mousumi Shah (17) and ShambhuBagdi, an agricultural labourer in the village, had been in love for some time and in the face of opposition to their marriage from Mousumi’s family, left the village together a few days back and took shelter in the house of a relative in the neighbouring village of Pichkuri under Ausgram Thana. According to some reports, they had already got married. While the rest of Mousumi’s family, in spite of their initial opposition, were getting reconciled to the situation, Robu Sheikh, Mousumi’s brother-in-law and a local strongman, chose to intervene. Getting wind of the couple’s hiding place, he collected a gang of criminals and raided the village. Shambhu was badly beaten up, tied up inside a gunny-bag in a half-dead condition and put on a goods train bound for Howrah. Mousumi was forcibly brought back to Eruar. The Howrah GRP rescued Shambhu in a critical condition from a bogie of the goods train and Shambhu later died in hospital after making a statement on the incident. On 12 December, after the news of Shambhu’s death reached Eruar, Mousumi’s body was discovered hanging and Robu Sheikh took the lead in getting her buried in a hurried manner without post mortem. It is reported that local TMC leaders tried to stop police investigation saying that the matter would be resolved within the village, but the villagers were so incensed that they refused to cremate Shambhu before the police took action. Many of them are saying that Mousumi’s death was not a case of suicide abetted by Robu Sheikh, but she was actually killed and then hung up to prevent evidence on Shambhu’s murder from coming out. The police were finally forced to register a case on the complaint of the family due to protests made by the villagers, but in the meantime, the accused, including Robu Sheikh, are absconding. Although more than 72 hours have elapsed, the police have failed to make any arrests. AIDWA also strongly condemns the role of the police in this matter, since it is becoming a rule in West Bengal that the most heinous crimes, if committed by anyone close to the ruling party, are sought to be covered up or diluted by the police. AIDWA sympathises with the families of the young couple killed because they transgressed social barriers in their love, and demands immediate arrest of the culprits. A delegation of AIDWA would urgently meet with the NCW chairperson in this regard. December 18, 2013