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Video of 2 Women Being Thrashed, Paraded Naked in WB Triggers BJP-TMC Slugfest

Five people have been arrested in connection with the incident in West Bengal's Malda.

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Five people were arrested in West Bengal's Malda on Saturday, 22 July, after a purported video showing two women being mercilessly beaten and paraded half-naked by a group of people surfaced on social media.

The women were attacked near Ratuachak in Pakuahat of Malda on Tuesday, 18 July, but the visuals of the incident were circulated on social media only on Saturday. The five persons were apprehended for uploading the visuals, according to The Wire.

The two women were allegedly accused of stealing the purses of three other women who had withdrawn their money from a bank in the area, Malda Superintendent of Police Pradeep Kumar Yadav said, as per The Wire.

As the mob, which predominantly comprised women, began attacking the duo with footwear, a group of contractual staff assisting the police reportedly tried to shield them but to no avail.

The police have not yet ascertained whether the women had stolen the purses.

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'What Happened in Bengal Worse...': BJP Leaders Slams WB Govt

The video surfaced just days after visuals of a Meitei mob sexually assaulting and parading at least two Kuki-Zo women naked, sparked nationwide outrage.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was quick to point fingers at the ruling Trinamool Congress, claiming that "atrocities on women is at its peak in West Bengal [sic]."

West Bengal BJP chief Sukanta Majumdar, according to news agency ANI, said:

"Many more incidents have happened in West Bengal. After the 2021 elections, the incidents were not reported...CM Mamata Banerjee does not have the moral right to point fingers."

Speaking in Bhubaneswar on Saturday, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan went on to say that "what happened in Manipur is unfortunate, but what happened in West Bengal is even more unfortunate. It is worrisome and shameful."

BJP IT Cell chief Amit Malviya claimed that the women were from a tribal community in West Bengal, and that they were "stripped naked, tortured and beaten mercilessly, while police remained a mute spectator."

However, the West Bengal minister for Women and Child Health told ANI that "there is absolutely no need to politicise the Malda incident."

"It was a case of theft, where the two ladies tried to steal something from the market. A group of women tried to take law and order into their hands and started beating them. However, the police reached the spot. A case has been registered and police are investigating the matter," she said, as per ANI.

(With inputs from The Wire and ANI).

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