Krishnanagar, March 27: A farmer couple from a backward Hindu community in Nadia’s Palashipara, have been allegedly slapped with a ‘fine’ of Rupees ten lakhs and ostracized by a self-appointed so-called village committee as ‘punishment’ because their daughter eloped to marry a Muslim youth that apparently caused “shame” and sheer “embarrassment” to the local residents.
The committee comprising mostly local BJP activists, that organized a kangaroo court a week ago ‘convicted’ the family on their own terms and also put a fence around their residence so that they don’t dare to step outside until the ‘fine’ is paid to avoid eviction from the village.
The ‘committee’ has set up a deadline of 15 days for Govinda Biswas, a BJP activist, to pay the fine.
However, on Sunday night he managed to meet a lawyer and with her support, mailed complaints to the District Magistrate of Nadia, Superintendent of Krishnagar police district, Palashipara police as well as to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes against ten persons seeking their intervention to save their lives and properties.
Police have neither begun a probe nor come up to help the family till Monday afternoon.
SP Krishnagar said Ishani Paul claimed ignorance about the incident. “No such complaint has been received so far as I am concerned. However, if any such incident occurred that would be definitely probed”, she said.
Trouble began for the Biswas family last month when Govinda’s minor daughter escaped home and married a youth from Nakashipara. Govinda with the help of the police brought her daughter back home. But, she escaped again which eventually angered the villagers.
“I did not accept my daughter’s marriage being a minor. But I was helpless… I could not understand why my neighbors become angry for this and decided to punish us”, Govinda said.
“On March 19, some influential persons in the locality summoned me to attend an open meeting to discuss what they said as a consequence of my daughter’s marriage to a Muslim. In the meeting they announced slapping of a fine of Rupees ten lakh to be paid within 15 days as punishment amid huge applause since the interfaith marriage of my daughter brought shame for the village”, Govinda said.
“Two days later some residents who took a lead role in the meeting came to my home and put up a fence made of bamboo canes around my plot directing us not to step out until the fine is paid. They threatened us of dire consequences if any of us dares to cross the fence to meet anybody or even to visit the local shop”, he added further.
Ajit Mondal, a BJP activist, and one of the 10 accused persons refused to speak on the matter when contacted.
Lawyer Arpita Biswas, who helped the family to lodge complaints said, “The act of the so-called village committee is a cognizable offence and police should immediately start a case and arrest the accused persons. Such incident is quite unimaginable in a civilized society”.
BJP’s Nadia North organizing committee president Arjun Biswas acknowledged the involvement of his party workers behind the incident but accused some local Trinamul leaders of instigating the villagers.
“I know Govinda being a party activist for a long. I also came to know about his plight and requested the officer in charge of Palashipara police station to help him. But the OC did nothing apparently being instructed by local Trinamul leaders who have been instigating the local residents to create erosion in our support base exploiting the incident”, Biswas told The NfN