After Trinamool Congress’s firebrand leader and MP Mahua Moitra on Tuesday contradicted the theory by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of a “love- angle” to the rape of a minor girl who died later at Hanskhali in Nadia, the National Commission for Women has also condemned the CM’s remarks.
Mahua Moitra, Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha member from Krishnanagar in Nadia district , said that consensual sex with a minor, i.e., someone below 18 years of age, is rape as per the law and a crime. She said this after visiting the residence of the minor victim and interacting with the members of her family.
As per the Prevention of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, even consensual sex is considered rape if it involves a minor girl.
“A girl below the age of 18 is minor and the law does not identify the right of a minor to give consent for sex. Consensual sex with a minor, as per the law, is considered as aggravative penetration for sexual assault,” Moitra said, adding that “As a party MP, all I want to say is that I am totally against such incidents. I cannot speak of others. But I will not tolerate such things.”
What Mamata Banerjee had said
“What has happened is not right. I condemn it. The police have arrested the accused. But the opposition parties and a section of the media are trying to give a political twist to the entire event. I have received the news that there was a love affair between the accused and the victim. So why come to a conclusion before the investigation is completed,” Banerjee had said on Monday.
NCW calls Mamata Banerjee’s remarks ‘unfortunate’
Mamata Banerjee has drawn flak for giving a love-angle twist to the case and even the National Commission for Women (NCW) on Wednesday called her remarks “unfortunate”
“Her [Mamata Banerjee’s] statement over the incident is very unfortunate. Being a woman, she should understand the pain of another woman. She pointed fingers at the victim, it was wrong, Rekha Sharma, chairperson, National Commission for Women, said.
BJP demands Mamata Banerjee’s resignation
A day after the Calcutta High Court (HC) handed over the probe into the Nadia rape case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), BJP’s Dilip Ghosh said that people have understood that they will not get justice from the state government.
“CM herself is trying to show nothing has happened. Therefore, court is also directing these cases to CBI. This government should be disqualified immediately and Mamata Banerjee should resign,” Ghosh said.
BJP West Bengal unit spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya on Tuesday said that the governor now should act and do something. “Governor should now act, he has the power to act,” Bhattacharya said.
Nadia rape case victim’s uncle, meanwhile, welcomed the CBI probe and said, “We hope proper investigation will take place and we will get justice”.
BJP constitutes 5-member fact finding committee
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has constituted a five-member fact-finding committee to ascertain details of the Hanskhali rape and murder case.
Child rights body to visit victim’s family
In other news, a two-member team of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is set to visit Nadia District from April 13 to 15. The team will inspect the status of inquiry in the alleged rape case.
What is the case
A minor girl died after she was allegedly gang-raped at a birthday party in Hanskhali in West Bengal’s Nadia district, police said on Sunday. The girl’s family claimed that the main accused is the son of a Trinamool Congress panchayat member, who was arrested for further investigation, they said.
The parents of the 14-year-old girl, a student of Class 9, lodged a complaint against the accused at Hanskhali police station on Saturday, four days after the incident.
The prime accused in the case, Brajagopal alias Sohail Gayali, who was first detained and was arrested on Sunday night, and left for the Ranaghat court on Monday. He has been slapped with POCSO charges, apart from rape, murder and suppression of evidence.