On Wednesday, the National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Rekha Sharma called out West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her remarks on the Hanskhali rape case. “CM Banerjee’s statement over the incident is very unfortunate”, she said as she criticized West Bengal CM for cornering the 14-year-old deceased victim.
“WB CM Mamata Banerjee’s statement over the incident is very unfortunate. Being a woman, she should understand the pain of another woman. She pointed fingers at the victim, it was wrong”, Sharma said while talking to the media on April 12.
Hanskhali rape-murder | Her (WB CM Mamata Banerjee’s) statement over the incident is very unfortunate. Being a woman, she should understand the pain of another woman. She pointed fingers at the victim, it was wrong: Rekha Sharma, Chairperson, National Commission for Women (12.04) pic.twitter.com/I6CpopQYBM— ANI (@ANI) April 13, 2022
This is a day after the mother of Delhi gang-rape victim Nirbhaya condemned the West Bengal CM’s statement in the case and stated that Mamata Banerjee does not deserve to be a Chief Minister. “She does not deserve the CM post if she is making such comments about a victim who has been violated. Being a woman, if she is making such comments, it does not suit the post that she is holding”, Asha Devi has said.
On April 11, Mamata Banerjee downplayed the alleged rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Nadia’s Hanskhali village by a TMC leader’s son. She insisted that there was a love affair and nobody knows if the victim was actually raped or pregnant.
She said in Bengali, “As a layman, I am saying where would someone get the evidence whether she was actually raped or was she pregnant or was there any other reason like someone beat her up or she died of some illness. There was a love affair for sure, her family knew about it, and their neighbours also knew about it. Now if a girl and a boy love each other, I cannot punish them.”
“This is not Uttar Pradesh that I can do that in the name of Love Jihad,” she added. Further, she went on to accuse the media of politicizing the situation to defame the state.
Hanskhali rape and murder case
The Son of a Trinamool Congress leader is accused of raping a young girl by inviting her to his birthday celebration. The victim’s family has said that her body was forcibly cremated to cover up the incident. The incident happened on April 4th in the Shyamnagar region of Gajna gram panchayat in Nadia’s Hanskhali block number one.
Brajgopal, the accused, is the son of Gajna Gram Panchayat member Samar Gowla. The girl, a Bogula resident, was invited to Brajgopal’s home for his birthday party on April 4, where she was reportedly gang-raped by a group of people, and her body was forcibly cremated after she died while being treated in the hospital.
Calcutta High Court orders CBI probe
It is important to note that the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday granted permission to the CBI to probe into the Hanskhali rape case. The Court ordered a ‘fair’ investigation and asked the state investigating agency to hand over all papers relating to the investigation to the CBI. Also, the custody of the accused has been given to the central agency.
It further asked the state to ensure that complete protection is provided to the witnesses and family of the victim. The Court also highlighted serious lapses by the Bengal Police in their probe. It pointed out that the police did not videotape the witness statements as is the requirement as per the law. The matter has been listed for May 2.