NCW team meets Bengal gang rape victim, Trinamool cries foul
A NCW team, which Tuesday met a gang rape victim in West Bengal's Birbhum district, asked the Mamata Banerjee government to provide compensation to the woman besides giving her police protection.
The state's ruling Trinamool Congress though took serious exception to the visit of the National Commission for Women (NCW) team led by its chairperson Mamta Sharma and called it a serious breach of protocol after the CPI-M women wing leader accompanied the team which met the 20-year-old victim at a government home in the district.
"There is need to rehabilitate her and the state government should look into this immediately. Moreover she is yet to get compensation despite the fact that there are special provisions for compensation for tribal women," Sharma told media persons after talking to the victim.
The NCW chief also sought police protection for the 20-year-old tribal woman who was violated earlier in the year by several men allegedly at the behest of a kangaroo court in a village near Labhpur in the district.
"The village headman played a big role in the crime, therefore, the woman should be immediately provided police security," she said.
Earlier in the day, Sharma had questioned the "callous" attitude of the police in the state and accused Banerjee of not paying heed to the NCW's recommendations.
"It is a matter of regret that this government never bothers to pay any heed to our recommendations.... The attitude of police is very callous. In certain cases, they even try to broker a compromise between the offenders and the victim's family," Sharma said while embarking on her visit to Labhpur.
Meanwhile Trinamool general secretary Mahua Moitra described the NCW visit a "political endeavour" at the behest of the opposition parties.
"Mamta Sharma took along (Left Front-affiliated) All India Democratic Women's Association chairperson Malini Bhattacharya who currently holds no government position and has no locus standi to be part of the team," Moitra told media persons in Kolkata following Sharma's visit.
Bhattacharya is a former chairperson of the West Bengal Commission for Women.
"While Bhattacharya accompanied Sharma to the room where they talked to the victim, the state government representative was not allowed to enter. This is not a fact-finding team, rather a political game being played at the behest of the Congress and the CPI-M," said Moitra.
"We take strong umbrage, this is a serious breach of protocol and in very poor taste that politics is being played over a serious and sensitive issue," she added.
Moitra said the state government has taken steps "over and above" those required for the rehabilitation of the victim including a house and a job.
(Posted on 11-02-2014)