Criticises those who are questioning political “change”

On a day when a protest march was taken out by civil society in the city against incidents of rape, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said, “The Trinamool Congress has not committed the rapes.”

At an election rally at Ukhra in Bardhaman district on Friday, Ms. Banerjee criticised those who were questioning political “change” and claimed that it was because of Trinamool that the “change” had come about in the State.

Ms. Banerjee’s remarks were aimed at a section of intelligentsia which had campaigned for a political change during the previous Left Front government, but recently criticised her for “failing to prevent crimes against women.”

“Only a few people had joined us towards the very end of our movement and participated in one or two rallies. Whereas, about 55,000 Trinamool workers were killed and we had to struggle for 35 years,” she said.

Referring to the gang rape of a 20-year-old college student at Kamduni village in Barasat on June 7, Ms. Banerjee said she had met the family and assured its members that justice would be done at the earliest.

“We are the only State government that has ensured conviction in an incident of rape in Malda within 27 days. We will do the same in respect to the Kamduni incident,” she said.

Speaking at another rally at Manbazaar in Purulia district, Ms. Banerjee said her government would demand the death penalty for those accused in the Kamduni gang rape and murder.

“All those involved in the crime were arrested in a day,” she said

She described the reports that West Bengal had registered highest number of crimes against women in 2012 as “complete lie.”