statesman news service
KOLKATA, 19 JUNE: Following media reports that Trinamul Congress supporters threatened women in Barasat’s Kamduni village after their verbal spat with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the West Bengal Human Rights Commission has started an inquiry.
During her visit to the house of the Barasat rape victim at Kamduni, Miss Banerjee snapped and told a group of women protestors in the village to “shut up”. She also accused them of being CPI-M activists.
Several newspapers and television channels carried reports today that supporters of a “particular political party” are now trying to force the women to apologise for their heated exchange with the CM, said the registrar of the commission, Mr Rabindranath Samanta.
He said this would be an “unprecedented situation” and an “utter violation of human rights”, so the commission has asked the chief secretary of the home department to appoint a senior official to inquire into the matter and submit a report within three weeks.
The commission has also directed the Superintendent of Police of North 24-Parganas "to ensure the safety and security” of the women in the village and submit an “action-taken report” within two weeks.
Governor M K Narayanan today said there shouldn’t be so much hype over the CM’s behaviour on Monday. “Do not bisect or dissect whatever the CM does,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event at the Bose Institute in North Kolkata. "At least she has visited the place. People would have complained if she hadn’t gone there. The issue should not be overly-criticised”.
Meanwhile, the state agriculture-marketing minister Arup Roy, today expressed concern over the series of rapes and suggested that martial arts training be made part of the school curriculum. He has asked education minister Bratya Basu to introduce the course.
“It is my suggestion that this course be made mandatory. Local clubs should organise the class for teaching martial arts to girls,” he said.
Meanwhile, protests over the rape continued today in Kolkata and some districts. Groups of women from the State Committee of the Women’s Wing of the Left Front, including organisations like the Paschimbanga Mohila Samity, blocked roads for about 20 minutes early this afternoon at Rash Behari Crossing, Shyambazar Five-Point Crossing, Behala Crossing, and Moulali Crossing. There was also a protest in Howrah.
In Purulia, a group of students from the Sidho-Kanho-Birsa University staged a silent rally protesting the incident.
High court asks state for ATR
KOLKATA, 19 JUNE: The Division Bench of Mr Arun Misra, Chief Justice and Mr Justice Joymalya Bagchi of Calcutta High Court today directed the state government to submit an action-taken report by 4 July into the gangrape and murder of a girl at Barasat in North 24-Parganas. The court had earlier directed the state government to file an affidavit-in-reply within seven days stating what steps it had taken to bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice, but adjourned the date till 4 July on a prayer by the state government. The matter would come up for hearing on 4 July, the court directed. A PIL has been filed in this matter which also sought a compensation of Rs 50 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased. Three persons have been arrested in connection with the incident. sns