Mamata faces protests over nun’s gang rape, condemns BJP for politicising

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Kolkata, March 16 (IANS) Angry over police’s failure to arrest any of the culprits who gang-raped a nun in West Bengal’s Nadia district, scores of people on Monday held up visiting Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s convoy at Ranaghat and staged a demonstration seeking a CBI probe.

After being stranded for over an hour, a visibly enraged Banerjee threatened strong action against the demonstrators and condemned the Bharatiya Janata Party for “trying to play politics” over the issue.

Amid the growing outrage and resentment over Saturday’s incident, Banerjee rushed to the Convent of Jesus and Mary High School in Ranaghat – some 80 km from Kolkata – where the nun was raped.

While coming out of the Ranaghat Sub-Divisional Hospital after meeting the nun, Banerjee’s convoy was stopped by scores of angry protesters shouting “we want justice” and “we want CBI”.

When repeated efforts by police and fathers of the convent to pacify the crowd proved futile, Banerjee vowed to act strongly against the demonstrators but simultaneously urging her party activists not to fall prey to the BJP’s provocations.

“I condemn the BJP for politicising this issue. This has become a norm for the BJP who have no respect for justice and laws. We will take strict action against those involve herea I urge you all do not fall prey to BJP’s provocation,” a visibly angry Banerjee said.

Repeatedly urging the crowd to calm down and assuring action against the culprits, Banerjee even dared the demonstrators to touch her.

“Let me see who dares to touch me, I challenge the BJP, I condemn the coward BJP. The BJP has no connect with the missionaries, the fathers, the school and the minorities. I condemn this party for playing politics over this incident,” said the Trinamool Congress supremo.

“Those who are shouting CBI, CBI and trying to play politics over rape, I condemn you.

“Don’t worry about me, my whole life has been spent for movements. I am not bothered by what people say about me,” she said.

“We will identify who all are doing this. We will take action as per law,” she said.

Banerjee also gave assurances of her government taking strong action against the rapists.

She ordered her party activists to take out a protest rally in the area on Tuesday in protest against the gang rape and Monday’s demonstration.

Before leaving for Ranaghat, Banerjee held a meeting at the state secretariat in Kolkata with senior administrative officers.

Earlier in the day, the state’s Director General of Police G.M.P. Rajasekhar Reddy rushed to Ranaghat and held talks with the investigators.

“We have detained eight people. They are being questioned. The culprits will be apprehended soon,” Reddy told media persons.

Enraged over police’s failure, hundreds of locals including school children took out a rally in Ranaghat demanding arrest and hanging of the rapists.

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