Kolkata, June 13: The Kolkata Police on Thursday detained a group of peaceful protesters who had turned up in front of the residence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to seek assurance of action over the deteriorating safety conditions for women in the state and also submit a memorandum of demands in this regard.
A 20-year-old and a 12-year-old girl were raped and brutally killed in the state in the last one week while the National Crime Records Bureau said in its report recently that Bengal continued to top the table in terms of crime against women for two consecutive years now.
The demonstrators, Anchita Ghatak, Sarmishtha Dutta Gupta, Madhura Chakraborty, Anuradha Kapoor, Shreya Ila Anasuya and many others assembled near the CM's house early on Thursday morning but they were not allowed to meet Banerjee at which they sat down and sang and held placards.
Later, three police vehicles were deployed to discipline the team of 30 protesters and they were chased by one of the police vans while they were walking peacefully towards Hajra Crossing after the demonstration and were picked up. They were sent to Lalbazaar (police headquarters) lock-up. Thirteen people were arrested under CrPC 151and many were manhandled by the police.
Kapoor, associated with Maitree, a civil rights group, said the police did not allow them to meet the CM for they were too many in number. When they told the police that only a few of them will meet Banerjee, the police still refused to grant them permission.
Kapoor said the condition of women's safety in the state is terrible and a new government was elected to change the situation. She said even the new regime is in complete denial of the worsening situation. She and her colleagues had reportedly sought an appointment with the chief minister at the state secretariat where the latter allegedly asked one of her officials to inform them that the demands could be sent to the police chief and didn't meet them.
Banerjee has been criticised from various quarters for remaining indifferent towards the growing crime against women in the state. She was heard about terming a rape case in Kolkata as a concocted story while floated various theories about the causes of rape, instead of actually taking strong measures against the culprits.
One of her minister faced the flak after he had gone to offer job to the family of the girl who was sexually tortured and murdered in Barasat last week.