People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 26

July 01, 2012


Bengal Witnesses One More Rape Case




THE National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) has condemned the rape of a hearing and speech impaired girl in North Dinajpur district of West Bengal. 


According to the information given by the NPRD, the victim, a national level para athlete who has won several medals including at the National Championship in 2006, was on her way back from Raiganj to her house in Hemtabad on June 23 in a shared auto-rickshaw.  Taking advantage of the fact that the girl was hearing and speech impaired, the auto-driver took the girl to his house where he committed the crime. Medical tests on the girl confirmed rape and the rapist has been arrested and is in police custody.


As recently as in April, a team from the National Commission for Women which visited the state, had indicted the state government over its inept handling of rape cases. Concerning the Bankura case where a hearing impaired girl was raped within the hospital premises, the commission had observed that "The case is extremely distressing considering that the victim is a person of special needs and she was under the care of a doctor, who not only is alleged to have committed the crime but also breached the trust of the patient. The commission notes with dismay that the young SP who took prompt action in the matter and ensured timely enquiry was transferred."


It has also come to light that the rapist owes allegiance to the Trinamul Congress, whose chief and West Bengal chief minister, Ms Mamata Banerjee, had in the wake a spate of incidents of rape in West Bengal questioned the character and antecedents of the women concerned and then alleged that the opposition was fabricating stories to defame her government.


Quoting from an analysis made by an NGO network, Maitree, of the recent cases of rape in the state, the commission noted that 17 per cent of victims were mentally or physically disabled. The commission had also made a host of recommendations, which the state is yet to comply with.


The NPRD convener and secretary of the Paschim Banga Rajya Pratibandhi Sammilani, Kanti Ganguli met the victim and assured all assistance of the Sammilani to ensure that the culprit is punished. Help has also been offered for her rehabilitation.


On June 27, the Sammelani, an affiliate of the NPRD, organised a protest action in front of office of the superintendent of police, North Dinajpur. A delegation also met the state commissioner for disabilities in Kolkata the same day. A protest action was organised in Kolkata the next day, subsequent to which a memorandum was be submitted to the governor. The Sammelini has also given a call for bigger protest mobilisation in Kolkata on July 6.