Mamata publicly casts doubt over rape, murder of minor
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has publicly raised questions about the details of a case involving the gangrape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Nadia District.
The 21-year-old main accused, who was sent to 14-day police custody by a local court on Monday, is the son of a Trinamool Congress leader. Banerjee’s statement attracted sharp reactions from the opposition parties, including the Congress, the CPI-M and the BJP.
Speaking in the presence of West Bengal Police chief Manoj Malaviya at an event in Kolkata, Banerjee said “the girl was having an affair with the accused” and Opposition parties and media were giving a “political twist” to the incident.
“What happened is bad. I condemn it. But I have heard that the accused and girl were having a love affair. People in their neighbourhood knew. Their families knew. Everyone knew,” she said.
“The incident is said to have taken place on April 5 and the FIR was registered on April 10. Why? From where will the police get evidence now?” Banerjee then looked towards the DGP and said: “Am I right or wrong?”
The girl’s family has alleged that the accused invited her to his birthday party on April 4, where she was allegedly gangraped after being made to drink alcohol. She died the next morning due to excessive bleeding, the family said.
Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury criticised the CM. “Does this victim not fall under TMC’s Maa, Mati, Manush [mother, land, people] governance? Why is the CM playing the role of devil’s advocate? Why is she defending those who committed the crime?” he said.
CPI-M leader Sujan Chakraborty said: “The way Mamata has described the incident is unfortunate. Is it a deliberate attempt to shield the culprits?”
Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari said: “Look at the language she is speaking? There is no rule of law. People should rethink whom they have voted to power.”
Adhikari also met Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and discussed the incident with him.
Banerjee rejected the Opposition’s charge that her government was shielding the accused. “Here, police act according to the law. This is not Madhya Pradesh or Uttar Pradesh,” she said.