Leaders of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) strongly condemned West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's contention that the alleged rape of the 37-year-old woman at gunpoint in a moving car in the city in the small hours of February 6 was “staged to malign her government.”

A city court here on Sunday remanded three persons in custody in connection with the incident to police custody till March 3.

The former Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, said Ms. Banerjee should have waited for the investigation to be over before making such a comment. 

“In the Park Street incident, without knowing the details she [Ms. Banerjee] said nothing had happened. She should have waited for the investigations to be completed,” Mr. Bhattacharjee said.

He was addressing the open session of the CPI(M)'s 23 State Conference on the Brigade Parade ground. 

CPI(M) State secretary Biman Bose, speaking on the occasion, said the “lie has been exposed.” 

While Ms. Banerjee had said the incident was “staged”, senior officials of the city police have said the incident had indeed occurred.

“The Chief Minister may be a woman. But the government is not making any attempts to ensure the safety of women and their self-dignity…. Because she has said that it is a concocted story,” Mr. Bose said.

Asked by journalists about the comment of Ms. Banerjee in view of the recent unravelling of the incident Trinamool Congress secretary-general and Minister for Commerce and Industries Partha Chaterjee retorted: “Can all questions be answered?”

The city police arrested Sumit Bajaj, Ruman Khan and Nasser Ali on Saturday.

The prosecution has moved a case of gang rape against the accused along with other charges of assault and illegal possession of arms. 

Senior police officials said two more persons, including the one who committed the rape, were still at large. They are believed to have fled to another State and a police team has gone there to track them down.

The Honda city car in which the assault and rape is suspected to have occurred has been impounded by the police and sent for forensic examination.

RELATED NEWS

CPI(M) spreading canards, says MamataFebruary 20, 2012

Kolkata police nab two in rape case February 18, 2012