SHIBA NANDA BASU
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Kolkata, 5 January
In the wake of the gangrape of a 16-year-old girl at Madhyamgram and her subsequent death, the city&’s intellectuals have called for better policing to combat the surge in crimes against women.
The intellectuals feel that women in the city are unsafe but no course correction in the police attitude is there to combat the situation. They opine that over the past few years the law and order in the city has deteriorated along with its politics.
Actor Kaushik Sen said that there are lapses on the part of police and the alarming thing is that it is growing. Referring to the remarks chief minister Mamata Banerjee make after the Park Street rape incident, he added it is better to keep silence rather than making derogatory comments.
"If police had to work under compulsion then it is not possible to get fair investigation. Rather than reaction it is better to initiate police reform," Sen added.
Writer Nabarun Bhattacharya said that it is not necessary every time to make comments on such heinous crimes. "The Madhyamgram incident is indeed condemnable. What such crimes indicate is a kind of social evil that is growing. It is time to think and act," said Bhattacharya.
After the Park Street rape incident in February 2012, Miss Banerjee had said that it was “fabricated”. An intellectual said that it is power that equates her with former chief minister Jyoti Basu who had described the Bantala rape and murder incident as a trifle.
In December last week, Karaya police station refused to lodge an FIR of a woman who was molested by youths in presence of her husband outside her home. It was again outside Karaya police station that a youth self-immolated alleging police inaction to register a rape case.
Other recent incidents that points at police failure include molestation of a French student in the South Kolkata area and molestation of a Korean student inside a bus in the city. On New Year&’s Eve a woman was abducted by a taxi driver in presence of police. It was in Park Street that a minor was raped inside a moving taxi. A disabled girl was heckled in the city in a bus.
Prof. Sunanda Sanyal said: "It is good that this time it was not said that those who are protesting against Madhyamgram incident are either Maoists or CPI-M people."