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Governor Says Over 200 Rape Incidents Reported in Aug 2020 in Bengal; State Home Dept Refutes Claim

File photo of Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.

File photo of Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.

Governor Dhankhar's tweet comes in the backdrop of Hathras incident, where a 20-year-old Dalit woman was gang-raped and murdered.

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Sujit Nath

West Bengal Home Department on Tuesday reacted on a tweet by Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar in which he claimed that 223 incidents of rape and 639 cases of kidnapping had been reported in the state in August alone this year.

Tagging Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in his tweet earlier in the day, Dhankhar said, "Rapes-223 and Kidnappings-639 @MamataOfficial in August 2020 as per official reports indicate worrisome state of crime against women - a cause of concern. Time to douse fire under feet and put law and order in place @WBPolice @KolkataPolice before attending flames elsewhere."

Reacting to this, state Home Department said that the claim by Governor is "not based on any official report, data, or information." "Raj Bhavan’s dissemination of WB ‘statistics’ on rape and kidnapping is not based on any official report, data, or information. Allegations are baseless, ill-founded, and misguiding. Totally incongruous with authentic facts and figures," state Home Department tweeted.

Soon after seeing the response by state Home Department on Twitter, the Governor said that statistics of rapes and kidnapping in August 2020 are from "authentic reports" officially sent to him. "Stunned @MamataOfficial terrible misrepresentation. Must apologetically withdraw and make amends. Statistics of Rapes-223 and Kidnappings-639 in August 2020 emanate from authentic reports officially sent to me from each of Divisions. All figures after due diligence," he tweeted.

"Both CS and ACS Home @MamataOfficial have been advised to forthwith make amends as such stance is unexpected - must forthrightly withdraw input. How ironical - Both DGP @WBPolice and ACS Home show defiance to directive to apprise on nosediving law and order and now such truths. Those responsible for such outrageously incorrect assertions to run down a constitutional office will not be without consequences. Such stance in public interest cannot be countenanced. Action will surely ensue. Hope they are as quick with truth as with falsehood and make amends," he said in another tweet.

Governor Dhankhar's tweet comes in the backdrop of Hathras incident, where a 20-year-old Dalit woman was gang-raped and murdered.

Ever since Dhankhar became the Governor in July 2019, he has had regular tiffs with the state government over law and order, education, legislative and administrative matters. The standoff has only intensified over the last few months.


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