The wife of a BJP leader was gang-raped by four unidentified masked men at Khardah in North 24-Parganas, sparking tension in the locality. The victim’s husband, a local temple priest and a BJP leader, claimed that his wife’s attackers repeatedly told her that they would kill him because of his allegiance to the BJP. Police are looking for the culprits, but no one has been arrested in this connection yet.

According to the complaint lodged with the Khardah police station, the incident took place around 8 pm on Wednesday when the woman, a resident of Patulia, was on her way home after dropping off their son at his private coaching class.

“While she was passing by a local Shiva temple, two unidentified youths, who had their faces covered with towels, attacked her from back. One of the two pressed his hand over her mouth and another dragged her away to an under construction building nearby. There were two more persons at the spot who joined the duo to abuse her sexually. My wife was stripped of her clothes and brutally raped by all the four, who had their faces covered. The monsters also threatened her with harm if I dared to continue with my activities as a BJP leader,” the victim’s husband said in the FIR.

After the rapists left her bleeding and injured, the survivor managed to crawl out of the abandoned building and knocked at the door of a neighbour’s house before she fell unconscious. Then she was rushed to the Panihati State General Hospital where she is still undergoing treatment.

The doctors said her recovery was slow.

The husband, a BJP shakti pramukh, said they feared another attempt on their lives because of his political identity. “I have been with BJP for years now. I take part in party campaigns and was also their booth agent in the last panchayat elections. I have faced threats before. But I never realised they will target my wife for my political leanings,” he said.

Trinamul’s legislative party chief whip and Panihati MLA Nirmal Ghosh, said, “I have already asked police to investigate the allegation of gangrape properly and immediately and to take stern action against the accused if anybody is found guilty. But the BJP is involved in dirty politics and is deliberately hatching a conspiracy against the Trinamul Congress to malign our party image.”

A senior police officer of Barrackpore commissionerate said, “We have received a complaint and the woman has already been sent to hospital for a medical test. An investigation is on in this connection.”

Mukul Roy, BJP leader and the party’s West Bengal convener of the election management committee, said the rape of the wife of a BJP shakti pramukh at Khardah is the universal picture of West Bengal, where no one has right to exercise political activities under the BJP banner.

“West Bengal stood as third worst state in India in terms of atrocities against women. Our team has already spoken to the victim’s family members. After the victim recovers we would take her to the governor of West Bengal. We have no place to go under this democracy. West Bengal is in deplorable condition,” said Roy.

A BJP delegation, led by party leader Subhas Sarkar and including Mahila Morcha leaders, visited Khardah and met the family members. They demanded that the culprits be immediately arrested.