Another Act of Shame and Crime….

In the wee hours of morning on 14th March, 2015, a group of bandits - possibly four- entered the premises of Convent of Jesus and Mary in Ranaghat, 80 km from Kolkata and brutally raped a 71-year old nun. They dragged the septuagenarian across seven rooms, demanding her to disclose where money was kept. Two of the sisters were tied up in another room while the security guard was asked to blow the safety signal.

After the gruesome incident, the alleged rapist and his accomplices appeared remorseless and raided the refrigerator for some food. They treated themselves to imported cake, chocolates and pastries, meant for the students and bought by a sister on her return from a foreign trip. They continued eating and rejoicing for an hour and finally left the campus at 4.30 a.m. – after an hour since they arrived. Before leaving, they trampled on the uneaten food, broke open all doors, windows and cabinets, and absconded with Rs. 7 lakh, which included study materials and examination fees of the students.

Sources stated that it was a pre-planned revenge attack on school authorities and the bandits were hired to execute the plan. The police suspects insiders’ role in the operation. The septuagenarian being the head of finances and about the safety signal - were two such incidents could possibly indicate that it was an insider’s mischief.

Four days have passed and no lead or action has been taken in this case. No arrests have been made in spite of CCTV footage of the accused in the Nadia gang rape incident. Looks like an inaction of the state government. BJP and Congress have welcomed the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) notice to the state government of West Bengal. Taking suo moto cognisance of the ghastly incident, the NHRC cited that the gang rape was a serious violation of human rights of the victim. It issued notices to Director General of Police and Chief Secretary of West Bengal, calling for reports in two weeks time.

Given its seriousness and sensitivity of the case, Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee announced her decision to enthrust the investigation to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The Home Ministry has asked for a detailed report from the West Bengal government about the incident, whether they was enough security ay the convent, measures to avoid and prevent such incident, and the actions that the state government has taken so far to punish those involved in the heinous crime.

Failure to arrest the attackers and inaction has created mass furore among Ranaghat locals who blocked the convoy of Mamata Banerjee when she went to meet the victim in hospital there. The victim is stable now and seems to be recovering well. The police have detained 10 locals, but so far have not initiated nay action.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is upset by the Ranaghat gang rape and church vandalism in Haryana. He has requested for reports from the two state governments. BJP leader and State Minister for Urban Development – Babul Supriyo, has also condemned the act and called for crime against women be seriously taken by the state and country.

The Nadia gang rape incident is indeed shameful but what is alarming is that Chief Minister is trying to politicise the incident by calling it an extension of ‘Ghar Wapsi’. The police should arrest the criminals instead of engaging in political mudslinging. Former West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee (WBPCC) president Pradip Bhattacharya has accused the West Bengal government of having a dubious record of not being benevolent towards rape victims and accusing political parties of shielding culprits, which encourages them to assume crime the next time of much larger scale. He supported the notice released by NHRC and opined that even goons have realized that if they have broken a law in West Bengal, the state government will support and provide them shelter.

Is it true???

Arun Sardesai (have 85 posts in total)

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