Mamata loses cool with villagers protesting gang-rape

Kolkata, June 17 (IANS) Faced with demonstrations from villagers over a gang-rape and murder in North 24 Parganas district, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday lost her cool and branded the perpetrators of the crime as well as the protestors as "CPI-M people".

Banerjee, who visited the gang-rape victim's family at Kamduni village - 25 kms from the metropolis - 10 days after the incident, assured that the administration would seek death penalty for the culprits.

But when a group of women surrounded her, shouting slogans about the lack of security, Banerjee got enraged and screamed at the women.

"Stop this CPI-M (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 CPI-M people. These goons enjoy support of the CPI-M," said an angry Banerjee.

"Shut up," she shouted at a woman who was seen pleading before her with folded hands to punish the rapists.

The second year college student was abducted, raped and killed by a group of youth June 7 when she was returning home after appearing in an examination in Barasat in the district.

So far eight people have been arrested for the crime.

The incident had created a furore with political parties, rights organisations and women bodies sharply criticising the Banerjee administration for its failure to curb rise of crimes against women in the state. Thirteen women activists were nabbed June 13 for holding a demonstration near Banerjee's residence against the incident.

Assuring that her government will seek death penalty for the culprits, Banerjee said Monday the case will be fast-tracked and justice meted out within a month.

"The charge-sheet has been prepared and will be submitted (to the court) within seven days and we will ensure that the rapists are given death penalty," added Banerjee.

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