Model-actor Aritri Bhattacharya and her mother were beaten up and molested in their home in the presence of a politician and realtors in Chandernagore on September 20. Aritri says the attacker stripped her and tried to rape her in front of the gawking crowd but she managed to fight him off. Police ignored her complaint, although the victims had bleeding injuries. Chandernagore OC Sukhomoy Chakraborty was allegedly reluctant to file an FIR and kept asking Aritri to settle it "mutually".
Police arrested the accused only on September 24 but filed mild charges, allowing him to walk free within hours. Now, the accused are threatening an acid attack on her, says the actor. Aritri, who was among the Miss India Top 22 in 2006, is a familiar face in TV commercials and serials. Three years ago, her family bought a ground-floor flat in Chandernagore where she stays with her parents and husband Mrinmoy.
The developers of her apartment, Sumit Sur and Ashis Mukherjee, live in the same complex and have an office on the ground floor, next to Aritri's bedroom. "Every day, the developers and local toughs gather in the office room and create a nuisance," said Jyoti, Aritri's mother. On the night of September 20, Sur's driver SK Nishad was loitering in front of her flat in a drunken state, she says. "Our main door was open and he was using filthy language over phone. We felt bad and bolted the door," said Jyoti. Nishad was furious and started throwing the actor's garments that were hung out to dry on the narrow passage that leads to the office room, the family says. When Aritri tried to stop him, Nishad pounced on her, she says. "He hit me with a stick and groped me.
He tore my T-shirt and pyjamas," says Aritri. Her mother rushed out to save her but she was also beaten up. "Mukherjee and Sur were there. As were a flock of local politicians. They all stood there and watched Nishad beat us up and molest my daughter," says Jyoti. The mother and daughter rushed to Chandernagore police station but failed to convince them to register a case.
"The next evening, we met the OC, who advised us for a mutual settlement," says Jyoti. On September 22, just when the family was about to contact superior officers, police registered a case against Nishad under bailable sections of the IPC. According to police records, Nishad was arrested at 4.40am on September 24 and got bail within hours. "Since then Mukherjee, Sur and their aides have been threatening to throw acid bulbs on my daughter. They dropped a senior police officer's name and said they would frame Aritri in a theft case. We are so scared that we have decided to move out from Chandernagore," Jyoti says. The OC claimed that he had taken "adequate steps according to the nature of the complaint".
But he could not explain why the accused was not slapped with graver charges when his investigating officer found that Aritri's clothes had been ripped off. The Chander-Nagore Police officials must take strigent action against the culprits and they should not fail from their duty insafe guarding the innocent pople.