• Video of TMC strongman’s aides assaulting person in Bengal’s Ariadaha club surfaces, 2 held
    Indian Express | 10 July 2024
  • An old video has surfaced of a person being brutally assaulted allegedly by the associates of a Trinamool Congress strongman inside a club in the Kamarhati area of West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district, sparking a political outrage.

    Two persons have been arrested in connection with the incident which is believed to have taken place in the Ariadaha Taltala Sporting Club in February 2021, the police said.

    The video shows the associates of Jayant Singh, the TMC strongman who is known to be close to party’s Kamarhati MLA Madan Mitra, holding the victim, prima facie a woman, by her hands and legs while others hit her with sticks.

    Jayant, an office-bearer of the Ariadaha club, is already in police custody since he was arrested after he surrendered on July 4 in the Ariadaha mob assault incident of June 30.

    The police so far have identified eight persons in the video and the arrested ones are Guddu and Jugga. Jayant, who is not seen in the clip, has also been named in the FIR.

    One of the persons in the club assault incident is heard ordering the others to hit the person on the back even as the victim screams in pain.

    The police, however, are verifying the victim’s gender. The Indian Express has not verified the authenticity of the video yet.

    Hours after the video went viral, the Barrackpore Police posted on X, formerly Twitter, that a case has been filed in the matter and two persons were arrested.

    “BKP Commissionerate took note of an old video now in circulation on social media involving assault on a girl. A suo motu criminal case has been started. All legal actions against persons seen in video (2 among them are already in custody) are being taken,” read the post.

    Expressing shock over the incident, BJP’s West Bengal president and Balurghat MP Sukanta Majumder also took to X, saying, “Absolutely appalled by the emerging video from Taltala Club, Kamarhati, showing Jayanta Singh, a close associate of TMC MLA Madan Mitra, brutally attacking a girl. This heinous act under a government that claims to champion women’s rights is a disgrace to humanity.”

    Amit Malviya, BJP’s co-observer for West Bengal, also slammed the “increasing crimes against women and complete collapse of constitutional framework”.

    “Flogging… in West Bengal’s Chopra was not an isolated instance of Mamata Banerjee’s men dispensing instant justice… Jayanta Singh, an associate of TMC MLA Madan Mitra, and his gang, routinely whip women in public. They recently lynched a woman and her daughter in Ariadaha, part of Kamarhati Municipality, Dum Dum. But this is least of his crimes…” Malviya posted on X.

    Jayant is facing at least nine FIRs of murder, attempt to murder and assault at the Belgharia and Dakshineswar police stations and has been behind bars before, the police said. Also, in June last year, he along with 9-10 persons was arrested for allegedly firing at a local builder Aritra Ghosh.

    A senior officer of Barrackpur police commissionerate said, “While people are claiming it is a girl, primary investigation shows the victim is likely to be a man. We have registered a suo moto FIR under Sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) of the Indian Penal Code. The case was not filed under the Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita (BNS) since it is an old case.”

    “The incident is likely to have happened when a person was caught near the club allegedly on the suspicion of theft. We are verifying whether it is the same incident,” he added.

    In the June 30 mob assault case, Jayant allegedly led his men in an attack on a college student and his mother in Ariadaha. The police had arrested nine others in the case.

    Kamarhati Municipality chairman Gopal Saha said, “The party has zero tolerance for such incidents and no one will be spared. It is unbelievable that someone can do this.”

    Tapasi Maitra, who runs a tea shop close to the Ariadaha club, said, “Local people know him (Jayant) and his associates as TMC supporters. They are musclemen of the area. The video is gruesome and sadly it took three years for the police to come to know that such a thing had happened.”

    Aritra Ghosh, the builder, said, “Jayant is involved in all types of criminal activities possible. I received a bullet injury in the attack last year. Jayant was in jail for three months in an attempt to murder case.”

    Some locals claimed that, in several instances, people are brought to the Ariadaha club and beaten up by Jayant and his associates.

    A resident of the locality shared another video with The Indian Express wherein a minor is seen screaming in pain when being tortured by a man using a kitchen appliance. “This video is also of this area. The minor was also caught under suspicion of theft and tortured inhumanly inside the club,” he alleged.

    Though this video could not be verified by The Indian Express, some people identified the man torturing the minor in it as Prosen Das, alias Laltu, a close associate of Jayant. At his paternal house, Laltu’s elderly father said, “He doesn’t stay with us any more since he got married. He is one of Jayant Singh’s associates and we are not aware of what he has done.”

    MLA Madan Mitra could not be contacted for comments.

    TMC spokesperson Riju Dutta wrote on X, “This is an old video of March 2021. Two persons seen in the video are currently in jail. The victim seen in this video may be male. This is being verified. Quite obvious that BJP, after being rejected in Bengal, is using all kinds of videos to target the TMC and defame the state.”

    TMC’s Rajya Sabha MP Sagarika Ghose also took to the microblogging site, “The Bengal government is clear: ZERO tolerance on crimes. All those seen in videos committing criminal acts have been booked and will continue to be booked. Defeated @BJP4India can circulate as many old videos as it wants to defame Bengal and target @AITCofficial , @WBPolice will continue to act against ALL wrongdoers.”

  • Link to this news (Indian Express)