statesman news service
BARASAT, 17 JUNE: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee today faced angry protests by villagers near here while visiting the family of a college student 10 days after the 20-year-old girl had been raped and murdered. She lost her cool and snubbed the protesters for their belligerence.
“Don’t you feel ashamed to politicise such an incident? You are doing this at the behest of the CPI(M). Those who have been arrested in connection with the heinous crime have links with the CPI(M),” Miss Banerjee told the irate mob that crowded around her when she arrived at the spot on a motorcycle after her car couldn’t negotiate the village tracks.
CPI-M state secretary Biman Bose, responding to the chief minister’s charge, said: “I won’t say the chief minister has become insane, but no sane person will say such things.”
CPI-M politburo member Sitaram Yechuri said: “The state government cannot get away with blaming somebody else like the CPI-M or others. This is completely preposterous. It has to get down to the basic job of governance. What is happening in West Bengal is a very rapid downward slide and deterioration of law and order.”
The chief minister assured the hapless family members that the state government would sternly deal with the culprits and plead before the court for awarding death sentence to the perpetrators.
She also said had the previous government set up more police stations in the area, such crimes wouldn’t have occurred.
She announced the government would set up four new thanas in and and around the area. Explaining her delay in visiting the victim’s family, Miss Banerjee said: “I couldn’t come before, even though I wanted to, because of pressing work…We promise stringent action against the culprits. We’ll submit a charge-sheet within 7/8 days and the culprits will be punished within a month. We, on behalf of the government, will plead for death sentence.”
“Ours is the only government in India which punished culprits within 27 days at Balurghat in north Bengal. We are number one in taking action,” the chief minister said.