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Two BSF Men Held for 'Raping' Woman in Bengal, TMC Criticises 'Amit Shah's Silence'

'The BSF is now BJP Security Force,' the TMC has said in a tweet.
Representative image of a BSF man. Photo: PTI/File
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New Delhi: Two members of the Border Security Force were arrested on the charge of raping a woman who was allegedly trying to enter Bangladesh from West Bengal on the night of Friday, August 26.

The two arrested are an assistant sub-inspector and a constable of the BSF. Both have been suspended and were handed over to West Bengal police.

The alleged rape took place at the Bagda border outpost in North 24 Parganas district, an official of the Border Security Force’s South Bengal frontier said on Saturday.

A court of inquiry has been ordered against them, he said.

“The BSF constable apprehended a tout and a woman trying to illegally enter Bangladesh from India. He dragged the woman to a nearby field and allegedly raped her, while the ASI helped him commit the crime,” the official said.

The incident came to light after the woman lodged a police complaint.

“After learning about the incident, we apprehended the duo and handed them over to the police,” the official said.

The BSF’s jurisdiction in Bengal has long since been a point of contention between the state and the Union government. In late 2021, the West Bengal assembly passed a resolution against the Union government’s decision to extend the BSF’s jurisdiction. At that time, TMC MLA Udayan Guha had noted BSF men’s alleged harassment of women, a claim that the border force had rejected.

The BSF is extensively deployed in the border areas of West Bengal as part of its primary mandate to guard the 4,096 km-long India-Bangladesh international border.

Reacting to the incident, the TMC tweeted from its official handle:

Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the 76th Independence Day, Modi had urged people to pledge not to do anything that lowers the dignity of women, adding that a mentality to insult them in speeches and behaviour has crept in.

“The BSF is now BJP Security Force,” the TMC claimed in another tweet.

“Home Minister @AmitShah’s silence on this is deafening especially considering how loud he usually gets about all things Bengal. But then he belongs to the party that buried Hathras, supported Asifa’s rapists, & set free the monsters in the Bilkis Bano case,” TMC national spokesperson Saket Gokhale said in a Twitter post.

Various women leaders of Trinamool have also recorded and uploaded video messages of themselves criticising the BSF’s excess in this incident.

At a press meet in Kolkata, TMC’s state spokesperson Kunal Ghosh asked if some border guards had forgotten their responsibility – that of containing smuggling.

His statement of the state’s ruling party came amid allegations of smuggling of cattle and coal from West Bengal to Bangladesh. Several people including senior TMC leader Anubrata Mondal were arrested in connection with cases related to these illegal businesses.

The BJP said the TMC should not tarnish the image of the entire force because of such isolated incidents.

Ghosh, however, said, “We are not casting aspersions on the entire BSF force. We know their contribution to national security. But such incidents make us outraged and numb. Will the BJP government at the Centre assure us there will be zero tolerance for such crimes? How can such people be part of a disciplined force the country is so proud of.”

He asked what will the Prime Minister say now.

“Such comments from the TMC are unacceptable. You cannot malign the entire force because of such isolated incidents. The law will take its course if anyone has committed a crime,” the BJP’s state spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya said.

(With PTI inputs)

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