Hanskhali rape incident condemnable, barbaric: TMC in damage control mode after Mamata's remark draws flak
Kolkata/IBNS: In a damage control mode, the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Wednesday condemned the alleged rape of a minor girl at Hanskhali in West Bengal's Nadia district after its supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's remark on the incident drew widespread flak.
"I want to say that the Hanskhali incident is condemnable, barbaric and a sign of social degradation," said TMC MP and spokesperson Sukhendu Sekhar Ray.
"Most of the cases are happening now involving family members. So we need to take care of our home too," added Ray, who also urged the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is now probing the case, to identify the accused.
According to reports, the minor girl in the Nadia district of south Bengal had joined the birthday party of local TMC leader Samar Gayali's son Brajagopal Gayali at his place on Apr 4 (Monday) and in the late evening, some locals brought her home with severe sickness.
Family members of the 14-year-old girl were also allegedly "threatened" not to take her to any government or private hospital. They were also advised to take the girl to a local "quack doctor".
Later on Apr 5 (Tuesday) early morning, the girl died at her home. Her family members alleged that she had been gang-raped by the TMC leader's son and his friends in the birthday party and she had died of excessive bleeding.
It was also alleged that her body was "cremated under pressure" with kerosene at a local 'unregistered' crematorium, without autopsy, medical test or even any death certificate.
A controversy was created by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who questioned whether the girl was "raped" or "was pregnant" or "had love affairs", drawing widespread criticism from political and common people though the civil society, dubbed as "intellectuals", maintained studdied silence.
Reacting to the incident, Banerjee, while speaking at a government programme, said, "The police are yet to understand the cause of her death. I had asked them. Will you call it rape or was she pregnant? Was it (the fallout of) a love affair?" "Have you enquired about these?"
Questioning her family why the complaint was lodged five days after the incident, Mamata Banerjee said, "The girl died on Apr 5, and the police complaint was registered on Apr 10! If they had a complaint, then why did not they lodge it immediately after the incident!"
She said, "The body has been cremated without informing anyone! Now how would the police investigate the matter!"