Women not safe under Mamata's rule - NCW study

Women in West Bengal are apparently not safe under the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamul Congress government.

The National Commission for Women (NCW), in a report released on Tuesday, stated that the state has 'recorded the second highest number of rape cases in the country and the rate of increase in reported cases is twice the national average'.

Ms Banerjee, who has been screaming herself hoarse against the so-called 'terror' during the years of Left Front rule, has also been criticised for 'transferring officers who have cracked rapes cases even before investigations were completed'.

The report was prepared by an NCW team that recently visited the state to probe the increasing number of rape cases.

It was also pointed out that West Bengal has the 'second lowest conviction rate in the country'.

The three-member NCW team claimed that 'girls from the age of seven to women of 72 were subjected to rape - including housewives, working women, mentally and physically disabled women and tribal women'.

The report added: "These incidents occurred at all times of the day and night in public places, government hospitals, homes, fields, everywhere'.

Statistics mentioned in the report are alarming as well. The figures, as mentioned in the report, claim there were '44 per cent of cases of gang rape; 39 per cent victims were minor girls; 17 per cent of victims were mentally/physically disabled; and 8 per cent of rapes happened in hospitals and trains'.

It added that 'accused are still absconding in 44 per cent of cases'.

On the alleged lack of sensitivity, it was stated that 'in 17 per cent of cases the victim's character, or veracity of cases were publicly questioned'.

It was also pointed out that 'about 39 per cent of rapists were known to the victims and that in about 25 per cent of the cases, FIRs were not filed at all, or filed later due to public pressure or court orders to this effect'.

Pointing at the way the state administration handled the cases, the report added: "The commission notes with dismay, for reasons best known to the state government, two
key officers involved in the Park Street gangrape case and the Bankura case of sexual assault on a deaf and mute girl, Ms Damyanti Sen, DCP, Kolkata, and Mr Pranab Kumar, SP, Bankura, were transferred before the investigation could be completed."

The commission 'requested' the state home minister (read Ms Banerjee) that an 'advisory' covering 'cases of crimes against women incorporating operational aspects is issued to all police officers, in the line of the advisory issued by the ministry of home affairs, Government of India'.

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