Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today raised a volley of questions on the incident of alleged rape of a minor girl leading to her death on 5 April in Hanskhali in Nadia and slammed the media and the opposition for defaming her party over the political affiliation of the father of the accused.
The police arrested a Trinamul Congress gram panchayat member’s son in this connection today. Miss Banerjee questioned whether the girl was “raped or pregnant or ill or there was something else” and asked why the victim’s family had not lodged a police complaint immediately after the incident. The chief minister’s comments came on a day when a public interest litigation was filed in the Calcutta High Court in connection with this incident.
“Will you call this rape or was the girl pregnant or was it a love affair or was she ill or did something else happen to her? What has happened is not right. I condemn it. The incident happened on 5 April but why was the police complaint not lodged immediately? As there was doubt about the cause of her death then why was she cremated in haste on the same day without informing anyone? How will the police investigate now?” questioned Miss Banerjee while inaugurating the newly restructured Biswas Bangla Mela Prangyan, which is spread across 22-acre land.
It has one lakh square feet of exhibition space and can host three lakh guests. “I have heard that the girl had a love affair, and her neighbours and family knew it”, Miss Banerjee said while asking the DG as to whether she was correct or not. “Now, if a boy and a girl are in a love affair, I cannot stop them. This is not Uttar Pradesh that I will campaign against love jihad,” she said.
Miss Banerjee clarified that the accused was arrested without considering his political colour, which she claimed happens in Bengal and never in any BJP-run state. She further slammed the media and the opposition parties for defaming Trinamul Congress for the accused’s proximity with the ruling party. She said, “What can be done? In West Bengal, everyone does Trinamul. So, what is the need to bring the party in this matter? The father is a Trinamul activist now if his son has an affair or does something wrong then how does the former’s political affiliation matter? Why is the party’s name being brought in this?”
The victim’s father had lodged an FIR on Saturday stating that the Class IX student had gone to attend the birthday party of the Trinamul gram panchayat member’s son on 4 April. She returned home in the early hours of Tuesday, feeling ill. He took her to a local quack, but she died in the afternoon. In protest, the BJP had called a 12-hour bandh in Ranaghat today demanding justice for the deceased.
Further, taking a dig at the BJP and media, Miss Banerjee said that the saffron party decides the headlines and the newspapers and channels follow those. “How many times were price hikes or Delhi riots or NRC discussed?” she asked.
Reiterating her attack on the central government for deploying central probe agencies, Miss Banerjee said, “How many CBI probes have been done in Delhi, UP, Rajasthan, Assam and Bihar over murders of people? How many leaders were arrested? No matter how many conspiracies you do by using ED and CBI, don’t think us to be weak.” Her comment came in the backdrop of the Birbhum killing case that was handed over to the CBI recently. She also condemned the “policy to isolate and disturb the industrialists. This is not good for the health of our economy. Fight politically. Don’t fight with agencies. Remember we too have agencies.”
Meanwhile, on the occassion Miss Banerjee launched the ‘Banglar Bhoomi’ portal for submitting land revenue online instead of queuing at the BLRO office and “E-solutions” software for document authentication for getting education and employment visas.