Just hours after claiming that she never denied that a woman was allegedly raped in the city earlier this month, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee created a fresh controversy here on Monday evening by asserting that the alleged rape in Katwa in the State's Bardhaman district late on February 25 was “planned” by the CPI(M). “Nothing has been found in the medical evidence,” she said.
The victim had alleged that she was raped by the side of the tracks after being dragged off a train near the Katwa station. The police who are inquiring into the incident have arrested two persons in connection with it.
Earlier in the day, Ms. Banerjee sought to clear the air over her utterances over an incident of alleged rape in the city on February 6.
She said she had never denied the incident and her comments had been distorted by a section of the media. After the incident came to light, Ms. Banerjee had told journalists at the State Secretariat that it was “staged” to “malign” her government.
“I had never said that there was no rape. Based on reports, I had said there was molestation… Even those who were named in the FIR by the victim were not involved in the incident.” Ms. Banerjee said in an interview to local television channels.
Pointing out that the complaint was made to the police several days after the incident, she said that in such cases medical examination of the victim should be done within 72 hours of the incident.
The incident happened in the early hours of February 6, and the victim filed a complaint at the Park Street thana on February 8. An FIR was lodged the following day.
“Why was there a delay? If the complaint was lodged earlier, investigations could have been conducted in a better way. Why was the FIR not made within 72 hours? As a common person these questions come to mind,” she said.
Ms. Banerjee lauded the efforts made by Kolkata police in this case and said she had not interfered with the investigations.
Referring to an incident in the Baranagar police area in North 24 Parganas where a mother of two died after allegedly being abducted and raped last week, she said the victim's husband was behind the incident.
In another incident at Suri in Birbhum district, a tribal women had complained that she was robbed and raped on Sunday night. Two persons were arrested in connection with the case.