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Midnapore: Although the Panchayat poll is over in Bengal, there is no end to cruelty on people in different parts of the state over disputes related to the poll.

In one such case, a woman in a village in West Midnapore district has been forced by Trinamool leaders to do sit-ups wearing a garland of shoes because she had stood up against booth jamming by the ruling party workers.

The shocking incident, which came to light today, took place on Friday at Bagdubi village under Kankabati Gram Panchayat in Midnapore Sadar block.

The victim woman is Kabita Patra and her husband Gopal Patra happens to be the outgoing Gram Panchayat member of the Trinamool from Bagdubi village. This time Gopal was not given a Trinamool ticket as the seat has been reserved for the woman.

According to Kabita, during the voting on 14 May, supporters of Trinamool candidate Krishna Singha resorted to booth jamming at the Bagdubi Primary School polling booth. Her husband, who had gone to cast vote, protested against this and an argument broke out over this.

Finding several Trinamool workers targeting her husband, Kabita raised her voice. In the course of this, she also waved a sandal to the Trinamool workers who were hurling verbal abuses at her and her husband. The matter did not escalate that day.

But with the election result being declared and the Trinamool candidate winning in the seat, local Trinamool leaders led by booth president Asish Patra summoned the couple to the Bagdubi party office on Friday.

Kabita was charged as to why she waved sandal to Trinamool workers. This made the homemaker tender an apology saying that she did so at the hit of the moment. But the Trinamool leaders were not satisfied with that and ruled that she have to wear a garland of shoes and do sit-ups in front of the villagers.

Finding no other way, Kabita did so in from of Bagdubi Trinamool office as a large number of villagers watched. An overzealous Trinamool cadre clicked this on his mobile phone and shared with others via WhatsApp.

Asked as to why the woman was insulted like this, Trinamool booth president Asish Patra outright denied that something like this has happened. Albeit, an aide of him said on the condition of anonymity that Kabita has been punished as she and her husband had extended support to the CPI-M backed Independent candidate.

Commenting on the cruelty, CPI-M state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said that the incident reflects the state of democracy in Bengal under the Trinamool rule.

Trinamool West Midnapore district president Ajit Maity said that he has come across the news. “I have sought a report from the block president. If found true, disciplinary action will be taken against those guilty.”

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