It was Unnao and Hathras in UP. Now it is West Bengal which showed how the slogan of ‘Beti Podao, Beti Bachao’ or much-trumpetted schemes like ‘Kanyashri’ and ‘Rupashri’ are securing the women. A 14-year old class IX student was brutally gang-raped on 4 April last at Hanskhali of Nadia district at a birthday party. She later succumbed to excess bleeding caused by such bestial assault. The main accused is son of an influential Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader. The parent of the victim alleged that the TMC leader’s family threatened them of dire consequence if they dared to disclose the incident anywhere and tried to burn the girl’s body forcibly by pouring kerosene. Though the main accused has been arrested, his associates are still moving freely. Most despicably, the TMC Chief Minister who often take potshots at the BJP for acquiescing in crimes against women committed by its leaders or associates, tried to dilute such a criminal act by commenting that ‘this was an insignificant incident and the girl had an affair with the accused and she might have been pregnant’. One would recall that though the victim in her dying declaration gave full details including names of the culprits and the autopsy report of the victim referred to ‘‘rape and strangulation’’, UP police claimed that a forensic report of her viscera has ruled out any rape or gang rape but attributed the cause of death to ‘‘injury to the cervical spine by indirect blunt trauma’’ The BJP MP from Barabanki, was heard saying in a video that ‘‘The victim must have called the boy to the field because they were having an affair. This news is already out on social media and news channels. She must have gotten caught…Such girls are found dead in only some places.’’ We are also reminded of the brutal rape and killing of Tapasi Malik during Singur movement when the then ruling CPI (M) leaders also defended the crime almost in similar language. So, the voice and acts of all governments subservient to bourgeois class interest are same.
The moment the news was heard, SUCI(C) activists throughout the state organized protest demonstrations throughout the state. In Kolkata, the SUCI(C) workers who were demonstrating in front of the Governor’s house faced police brutality and arrest. Similar arrests were faced in other districts also.
Wherever an incident of rape, gang-rape, lynching or any other crime on women would take place, people need to come forward, build up struggle committees and force the government-administration to take prompt effective action to ensure delivery of due justice. This alone can counter the heinous attempts by the bourgeois parties like the ruling BJP or TMC to silence any protest that goes against their grain and downplay such horrendous crimes. SUCI(C) is pledge-bound to develop such people’s struggles in right earnest.