KOLKATA: Under fire for the deteriorating law and order situation in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has sparked another controversy, saying 'shut nightclubs by midnight and there'll be no rapes in the state.'
Ironically, this move by the Mamata government is supposedly to keep a tab on the deteriorating law and order situation in the state. The excise department has decided not to issue Late Closure Licenses (LCL) for next month. The move is being criticized widely, especially online.
Earlier, Mamata had claimed that rapes in West Bengal were being reported to malign her government's image. However, six cases of alleged sexual assault have been reported in past month in West Bengal.
On January 12, a school girl in South 24 Parganas held captive and allegedly gang-raped in a house.
On February 5, a 37-year-old woman was raped in a moving car on Park Street.
On February 23, a slum-dweller from north Kolkata was gang-raped and murdered inside a goods vehicle.
On February 26, a middle-aged widow dragged out of a moving train and was gang-raped in Katwa, Burdwan.
Again on February 26, a 33-year old tribal woman in Birbhum robbed and allegedly raped by five persons.
On February 27, a hearing impaired patient at the Bankura Medical College allegedly raped by a hospital doctor.
Mamata had squarely blamed the Left for the deteriorating law and order condition in West Bengal. She had claimed that the 30-year-old woman allegedly raped by a gang of armed robbers too was a set-up. Mamata had also hit out at the Left over the recent spate of crib deaths in the state, saying it was an attempt to discredit her government.
In this ugly politics over rape, it is the rape victims who are suffering. As politicians slug it out, victims are being victimised further. It is becoming increasingly difficult for them to come forward and claim the very same justice Mamata once promised to deliver for Bengal.