Shout down the protesters: Mamata's ways of handling rape cases

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Shout down the protesters: Mamata's ways of handling rape cases
Kolkata, Jan 3: The death of a 16-year-old gangrape victim in Kolkata has triggered massive protests in the city, which has seen outrageous rise in such incidents in recent years. What is to be noted along with the spate in numbers is the reaction of chief minister Mamata Banerjee to sexual abuse cases.

Mamata dubbed the recent outrage over the gangrape incident as a "conspiracy to impede development work by her government".

This comment shouldn't surprise anyone. Trinamool Congress 's 'didi' has always been in the news for making similar controversial comments.

Never been a friend of media, Mamata Banerjee's infamous reactions on rape cases have triggered controversies many times.

"Are all women in the state being raped?", she asked at a public rally on June 23, 2013, reacting to media reports on rising crimes against women in West Bengal. She alleged that the channels are operating hand in gloves with Left parties, thereby disrespecting the 'soil of Bengal'.

In 2012, according to National Crime Records,  30,942 rape cases were recorded in West Bengal.

Shut up !

In June, 2013, after the rape and murder of a student in Barasat, Mamata Banerjee visited the victim's house and blamed CPI(M) for the incident. The Left party is protecting the culprits, she alleged, adding that her government has been doing everything possible to protect the women in the state. Interestingly, she visited the victim's family 10 days after the incident happened.

When a local woman pleaded with her to punish the rape accused, "Shut up ! Don't pursue CPI (M)'s politics".

In June 2013, families of several girls who were allegedly raped in West Bengal, approached president Pranab Mukherjee and requested him to initiate CBI probe into sexual abuse cases in the state. They told him that they were disillusioned with the Mamata Banerjee-government.

Angered by the villagers' visit to President, Banerjee said, "Some brokers are being taken to Delhi to spread bad words about me".

Causes of rape cases: Media and CPI(M) (According to Didi)

Mamata Banerjee has always made it a point to blame media and CPI(M) when being questioned about rape incidents in Bengal.

"Wrong news items and canards are being circulated by a section of the media, particularly some news channels, to target her government. They are even distorting my own version," she said in October 2012. She alleged that media were suppressing facts and thus causing "news pollution", pointing to projection of some rape incidents in the state.

In June 2013 after the rape and murder of a student, she asked the protesting public, "Stop this CPI-M [Communist Party of India-Marxist] politics. I know you all are their people and even those who have been arrested for the gang-rape are all CPI-M people. These goons enjoy support of the CPI-M".

In February 2012, Mamata termed an alleged rape on a train as a CPM conspiracy to tarnish her Trinamool Congress government's image. "The incident is false. The woman is a CPI(M) member's wife", she said, adding that political groups were shouting rape to malign her.

After the controversial Park Street rape case in February 2013, mamata Banerjee maligned the victim saying that she was part of a CPI(M) conspiracy.

When women speak against women

Like Mamata Banerjee, former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit has also landed in controversies for insensitive reactions to crimes against women. After the Delhi Gangrape incident in December 2012, Sheila Dikshit responded saying the bus in which the crime occured was a private bus and not a Delhi State vehicle, thereby dodging responsibility.

In 2008, when the Headlines Today reported Soumya Viswanathan was killed by unidentified assailants at night, Sheila said that the incident happened because the woman ventured out at night, being 'adventerous'.

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