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Single storied house has 3 Bedrooms,
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24 Jan 2017

Daughter stripped in front of her eyes, US NRI vows never to return

Ashis Poddar & Falguni Banerjee | TNN | Jan 23, 2017, KALYANI/BALAGAR: She had spent six decades of her life in Bengal before relocating to Houston in the US. But, before Saturday, her birthplace had never felt so unsafe, threatening and insecure.
The septuagenarian and her disabled daughter were at the mercy of a bloodthirsty mob, who assaulted the two and their driver with sticks and rods suspecting them to be child-lifters before setting their car on fire. Irate villagers stripped the daughter and molested her before looting their cash and valuables.The elderly woman shudders to think what could have happened had police not rescued them in time. Fear writ large on her eyes, the 75-year-old NRI does not want to stay in this country even for a day more. Her worst nightmare is over, so is her will to stay back home.
Police on Sunday arrested 11 people on charges of molestation and attempt to murder in the incident that took place in Hooghly's Balagar. Nine more named in the FIR are absconding.
The woman had relocated to the US 12 years ago along with her husband, a retired professor of Kalyani University, to stay with her two elder daughters. She came back to India every few years to stay with her son and younger daughter. On Saturday evening, the septuagenarian and her disabled daughter had go ne to meet a relative. "We pleaded with folded hands, but they were in no mood to listen to us. Some of them were carrying iron bars.They hit us with stones and punched us," the elderly lady recounted. Her daughter, a teacher at a Kalyani school, even showed her identity card, but that was of no use. Irate villagers, who suspected them to be child traffickers, tried to burn them alive inside their car. "They sprayed a petrol-like liquid on the car and were about to set it afire when police arrived. I have never seen such brutality ," the elderly woman said on Sunday from her hospital bed. "While we were rescuing them, some locals attacked us too. The car was set on fire after we left," said an officer of Balagar police station.
When the villagers started to attack, the daughter managed to call her brother at Kalyani and asked for help.
Locals on Sunday claimed that rumours of increased activity of child traffickers had been spreading in the region and that had created a panic among villagers. Though no case was reported from either Balagar or Kalna police station area in the last seven days, villagers continued patrolling these places.
"In most cases, rumours were spread through social networking platforms. It is difficult to track down the source in such cases," said a top cop at Nabanna.

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