Madam Chief Minister,
We, the members of Maitree, a women’s rights network in West Bengal, are writing to protest against the manner in which the complaint of rape of a woman in a car in Kolkata on Feb 5, 2012 been dealt with by the government, especially the police.
- Despite being the Chief Minister and the Home Minister of the State, without giving time for investigation, you have stated that the incident is contrived and intended to malign your government. We are extremely apprehensive that your pronouncement will discourage a just and fair investigation. Supreme Court judgements on rape, say that for such cases oral testimony is enough to initiate the case, and sensitivity has to be shown to the assaulted women who come to seek justice.
- The Minister of State for Transport and Sports, Mr. Madan Mitra, also made offensive public comments about the lifestyle of the complainant and alleged that the complaint was fabricated to extort money. He said: “She has two children and so far as I know she is separated from her husband. What was she doing at a night club so late in the night?”
- A section of the police officials seemed more intent on finding “inconsistencies” in the complainant’s statements, instead of taking action against the police personnel who delayed in filing the FIR, failed to get the medical investigation done in time and misbehaved with the complainant
- At the same time, we would like to point out that there are inconsistencies in the different police versions. Had the police taken a proper attitude from the beginning, the arrests would probably have come much before 18thFebruary and the woman would have had less of a trauma.
- Despite the Supreme Court judgements that the name and details of the victim of a rape case must be kept anonymous, these details have been made public.
- Not only was there a delay in getting the medical examination done but no woman police personnel accompanied the complainant to the hospital. The law is clear that that immediate forensic investigation is needed.
It takes immense courage for a woman to report rape and sexual assault. It is shocking to see that the complainant is being treated as the wrongdoer in this case.
- An immediate apology from you, the Chief Minister and the Transport Minister for prejudging the issue and casting aspersion on the integrity of the complainant.
- Action against police personnel responsible for mishandling the case and misbehaving with the complainant
- Immediate security for the woman
- Fair and just investigation of the complaint
We hope that you will heed our concerns and ensure that justice is done in this matter.
Members of Matiree
Secretariat: Sappho for Equality, 11A Jogendra Garden, South, Kolkata 700078
Contacts: Swayam 98302 04322 & Jeevika Development Society 98317 40384
[Distributed in the street corner and rally held on 21-02-2012 at Hazra More]
PS- SHE HAS NOT REPLIED THE LETTER YET
- Mamta and Madan Mitra’s Medieval Moralising (kractivist.wordpress.com)
- Apalling and Shocking -West Bengal: Hearing impaired patient raped in hospital by medical staff (kractivist.wordpress.com)