West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday shouted at villagers protesting a gang-rape and murder, and branded the accused and the protesters as "CPM people".
Banerjee yelled at the protesters when women surrounded her and shouted slogans about the lack of security while she was visiting the gang-rape victim's family Monday at Kamduni village, 25 km from here, 10 days after the incident.
"Stop this CPM (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 CPM people. These goons enjoy the support of the CPM," said an angry Banerjee.
She assured them that the administration would seek the death penalty for the culprits.
Banerjee, who rode pillion on a motorbike to meet the family, said the case would be fast-tracked and justice meted out within a month.
"The chargesheet has been prepared and will be submitted (to the court) within seven days. We will ensure that the rapists are given the death penalty," added Banerjee.
The chief minister also claimed that her government ensured that accused in the three other similar crimes in the state were handed out punishment by the court in just 27 days, though she did not reveal details of the three cases.
A second-year college student was abducted, raped and killed by a group of youths June 7 when she was returning home after appearing in an examination in Barasat in North 24 Parganas district.
Eight people have been arrested for the crime.
The incident created a furore with political parties, rights organisations and women's groups criticising the Banerjee administration for its failure to curb crimes against women.
The State Human Rights Commission has also ordered a probe into the matter.
Ironically, according to the National Crime Records Bureau, West Bengal tops the list of states having the highest crimes against women.