Left Student Activists Allege Sexual Harassment By Kolkata Jail Staff

The SFI held a protest rally against alleged sexual harassment of four women at Kolkata jail.

Kolkata: The Students Federation of India (SFI) has alleged that four women, who are party activists and protested against the state government, were groped, strip searched and sexually harassed at a women's jail in Kolkata earlier this month. The SFI held a protest rally in Kolkata on Saturday as the women approached the National Commission for Women demanding action against the police personnel. The commission will be sending an enquiry team to Kolkata.

CPI (M) leader Brinda Karat and members of a Left-backed women's group, All India Democratic Women's Association or AIDWA, have also demanded immediate action against the alleged offenders. SFI leader Madhuja Sen Roy says the incident happened following their protest against the state government against irregularities in appointments of teachers after which they were arrested and sent to judicial custody on March 9. It was while they were entering the jail that the alleged sexual harassment took place in the presence of male cops during the security check.

"When we were being taken to jail on the pretext of checking us they made us strip and it was humiliating," she told NDTV.

The SFI activists allege only one woman police personnel was present and even she molested them in the presence of male cops.

The Trinamool Congress' students' wing, on the other hand has rubbished the charges. "They only criticise and make accusations. When they don't have an issue they say these things. No one will do these shameful things and they are doing this to be in the limelight," State President of the All India Trinamool Student Congress, Jaya Dutta said.

The National Commission for Women chairperson told NDTV that they are enquiring into the allegations and are sending a team to Kolkata.

"We condemn the incident and will send an enquiry committee to gather the facts of the case and meet the victims," Lalita Kumaramanglam said.
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