Faced with criticism from different quarters over the rise in atrocities against women Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came up with a bizarre defence of the State government on Sunday by asking at a public rally: “Are all women in the State being raped?”
Addressing an election rally at Minakha in the Basirhat area of the State’s North 24 Parganas district she vented her ire on a section of the electronic media saying that by highlighting atrocities committed on women they were “disrespecting” the people of the State.
Referring to the rape and murder of a college girl at Kamduni village in the Barasat area of the district Ms. Banerjee said that the incident was “unfortunate” and all the accused were arrested within 24 hours.
The State government would seek the death penalty for the accused, she reiterated.
In three recent incidents of rape the State government was able to ensure conviction in a very short period, Ms. Banerjee said, pointing out that in the latest incident at Bamangola in Malda district conviction was ensured within 27 days.
“This is called good governance,” Ms. Banerjee said. “If there is any incident of atrocity against women the State government will act,” she said.
Ms. Banerjee accused certain television channels of furthering the interests of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and said that they were regularly indulging in false propaganda against her government.
“Has there been any conviction in cases of atrocities against women registered during the regime of the CPI(M) ?” she asked.
Stating that the Trinamool Congress government made provisions for reservation of 50 per cent seats in the rural bodies for women, Ms. Banerjee said that such an initiative had not been taken elsewhere in the country.