Expelled CPM Lawmaker Ritabrata Banerjee Quizzed For 6 Hours By Bengal Police Over Rape Complaint

In September, just before the case hit the headlines, Ritabrata Banerjee was expelled by his party, the CPM, for a variety of 'personal indiscretions'.

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Expelled CPM Lawmaker Ritabrata Banerjee Quizzed For 6 Hours By Bengal Police Over Rape Complaint

Ritabrata Banerjee has to report for questioning again tomorrow

Kolkata:  Ritabrata Banerjee, the 38-year-old lawmaker expelled two months ago by the CPI(M), was today questioned by the West Bengal Police for six hours in a case related to alleged sexual exploitation of a 30-year-old woman IT engineer.

Emerging after questioning and said, "I will support the Criminal Investigation Department with anything they need. I just want the truth to come out."

Mr Banerjee has to report for questioning again tomorrow.

He was accused by the woman, a resident of north Bengal, of promising to marry her, cohabiting with her and then dumping her. Her police complaint, filed on October 10, alleges rape. Earlier, she had filed a police complaint at her hometown, Balurghat, and then gone public with intimate photos of the two of them and tweeted to India's vice president, the minister of women welfare and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for help.

Mr Banerjee had, however, filed a police complaint on September 6, stating that he had merely tried to help the woman get a student loan and she had tried to blackmail him. He filed an FIR on October 9, a day before she did. 

In September, just before the case hit the headlines, Mr Banerjee was expelled by his party, the CPM, for a variety of 'personal indiscretions'. His party suspended him in June after it received 19 complaints about alleged "sexual misconduct". 

After the woman's FIR, the CID, given charge of the case, summoned Mr Banerjee twice but he failed to show up. Finally, with the threat of arrest looming over his head, he sought and got anticipatory bail and reported to the police today. 

The woman is not backing off. Her Twitter status reads, "Ritabrata is a rapist, womanizer, liar and full of s***. Next time you see him, throw rotten eggs n tomato at him."  

Such public exchanges about personal indiscretions are unusual in India, certainly in Indian politics. Though he has been expelled by his party, Mr Banerjee is still a member of the Indian parliament. His term as an 'Independent' ends in 2020. 

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