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Congress leaders stopped from meeting rape victim in Bengal

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Kolkata, Feb 23 (IANS) Congress leaders including former West Bengal unit chief Pradip Bhattacharya were Sunday heckled by a mob when they tried to visit the home of a rape victim in Hooghly district and had to return here without meeting the family.

The Congress called the heckling a conspiracy by the ruling Trinamool Congress, which rubbished the allegation.

“Trinamool goons were waiting for us and the moment we got down from the vehicles, they attacked us and ensured we could not enter the village. It was pre-planned by the Trinamool to ensure we don’t get to meet the victim’s family. Otherwise bitter truths would come out,” said Bhattacharya.

“It is obvious that those who prevented us from reaching out to the family, are attempting to shield the rapists,” he added.

The minor was allegedly raped by a tea stall owner Friday at Polba. The accused was subsequently arrested.

Congress leader Abdul Mannan alleged police inaction.

“We were punched and pushed around but the police stood there as mute spectators. The hooligans were all outsiders and not from the village,” said Mannan.

However, Trinamool legislator from Chinsurah Asit Mazumdar countered the Congress leaders’ claims.

“It is all rubbish and the Congress leaders are intentionally spreading malice against this government, which has been doing everything possible to rehabilitate the victim,” said Mazumdar.

State Congress president and union minister Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury is expected to visit the victim’s family Monday.

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