LEFT Leaning Bangla Poet Alleges She Is Threatened To Be Gang Raped

April 1st, 2017 | by Pranab Kumar Chakravarty
LEFT Leaning Bangla Poet Alleges She Is Threatened To Be Gang Raped

THE Kolkata Cyber Police has registered a case against unknown persons for threatening left leaning Bengali poet Mandakranta Sen on Facebook with gang rape for expressing solidarity with fellow poet Srijato Bandopadhyay who recently was embroiled in a controversy after writing a poem allegedly hurting Hindu sentiments.    Kolkata’s Tollygunge born Mandakranta, 45, who quit medical college to take up literature as her passion and profession, first hit the headlines of national media before the Bihar assembly poll when she offered to return her Sahitya Academy Award over protesting beef eating spearheaded by a Hindutva group.

“I have been threatened with gang rape,” Sen has written on Facebook alongside the obscene threat message by one Raja Das.    Soon after Sen uploaded the message on her Facebook wall, there was a huge protest by intellectuals and her fans.

“I am not worried about myself. The only way to fight fundamentalism is to go on writing more and hold more rallies,” the poet said.  Sen not only stood by Srijato after a controversy broke out over the latter’s poem on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, she also participated in a rally to protest against the attack on him.

A Hindutva group had lodged a police complaint against Srijato for allegedly hurting “Hindu sentiments and  Yogi Adityanath”  on Facebook  Mandakranta Sen Born  had studied Medicine in Nilratan Sirkar Medical College during 1991-1997, but quit amidst the final MBBS Examinations. Having begun writing at an early age, she has left her mark in all genres – poetry, novel, short story, verse, drama, articles and essays.

Her published works are: Hriday Abadhya Meye (1999), Balo Anya Bhabe (2000), Chhadma Puran, Utsarito Alo (2001), Esabe-I Rater Chinha, kashbhara Bandhutara (2002), Barshaphalake Gantha Har, Kavya Sangraha (2004 all poetry including one verse drama), Jhanpatal (2000), Dalchhut (2002), Sahabasthan (2003), Rituchakra, Andhakar Samudrer Niche (2004 all novels) and Galper Boi (2001).

Srijato had posted a 12-line poem on his Facebook page on March 19, the day Adityanath was sworn in as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.  Srijato today expressed disgust and condemned the rape threat against Sen.A senior officer of Kolkata Police said they were checking the authenticity of the profile from which the threat was made to Sen.”Our officers are checking whether the profile from which the threat was made to Sen is real or a fake one. Then we will proceed with the requisite investigation to spot him,” the officer said.

Incidentally, Sen in 2015 had returned her Sahitya Akademi Young Writers Special Award to protest against communal attacks in the country.    The BJP today presented a divided house on the rape threat. Commenting on the alleged threat to Mandakranta, BJP’s National Secretary Rahul Sinha condemns it. But Bengal  BJP President Dilip Ghosh accused Sen of indulging in “cheap publicity” stunts.    Sinha said “We condemn such threats to a woman. Even if she professes an ideology which is opposite to ours. We are against such threats to a woman. This cannot be tolerated in a civilised society,” Sinha added. But Ghosh said “These are nothing but publicity stunts by Left intellectuals to remain in news. The police will do their job. But we feel this is nothing but cheap publicity business,” Ghosh said. Meanwhile, Siliguri Police has slapped non-bailable charges under Sections 295A (deliberate or malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 57 of Information Technology Act against Srijato , 42.Section 295A prescribes a minimum jail term of 3 years along with a variable fine.An FIR was booked against Srijato on Tuesday for his poem titled Curse. Complainant Arnab Sarkar (20) of hard-line group Hindu Samhati said that the last line of the poem has hurt Hindu sentiments.

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