Concerned over “lack of police action” in several instances of sexual assault on women across the State and “apathy of the administration”, representatives of an organisation affiliated to the Left parties met West Bengal Governor M. K. Narayanan here on Thursday.
“We are deeply concerned over the spate of attacks on women that have been reported across the State… On four separate occasions, in connection with specific incidents that had come to our knowledge, we had sought appointments with the Director General of Police (Naparajit Mukherjee) and Home Secretary (Basudeb Banerjee), but got no response. This is why we approached the Governor on the matter,” general secretary of the West Bengal unit of the All India Democratic Women's Association Minoti Ghosh told journalists.
She said Mr. Narayanan had also expressed his concern and said that he did not want that a single woman should be a victim of rape or molestation.
Referring to the remarks made by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who has on more than one occasion described allegations of rape as “staged”, Ms. Ghosh said when the top leadership of the government does not take these matters seriously, the police also tends to ignore the complaints.
“We have heard of several instances where women have gone to a police station to file a complaint, but the police have refused to register a case… The situation is becoming alarming,” Ms. Ghosh said.
She was also critical of the West Bengal Commission for Women’s role, pointing out that chairperson Sunanda Mukherjee had often downplayed the seriousness of the issue.
“We do not wish to bring in a comparison, but when the Left Front government was in power, there were several instances when the Commission for Women took action based on reports and ensured justice for the victims,” Ms. Ghosh said, adding that this was not seen after the Trinamool Congress-led government took charge.
Asked about the incidents of violence against women that occurred when the Left Front government was in power, Ms. Ghosh said, “We are not saying these incidents never took place. The only difference is that when the Left Front government was in power, the police would take action if a complaint was received and the guilty person would be punished… Is there a single example of exemplary punishment being meted out to perpetrators of violence against women since this government came to power?”