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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Remarks on women's safety: Revisiting TMC's 'insensitive' history

Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 01, 2014
First Published: 21:55 IST(1/7/2014) | Last Updated: 22:00 IST(1/7/2014)

Tapas Pal will not go down in the history as the first Trinamool leader to make obnoxious remarks about women. The party has a chequered and insensitive history of shooting from its hip over rape and women's safety.
 
The infamous 2012 rape incident in Kolkata's Park Street after the Trinamool came to power saw the ruling dispensation trying to ruthlessly brush aside the allegations made by the victim.

MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar stooped to the level of attributing the allegations as a "result of dispute between the woman and her clients," oblivious of the Supreme Court ruling that cases of assault on women cannot be judged on the basis of the victim's "character".
 
In 2013, as the government was preparing to pass the anti-rape law, it held several rounds of discussion with political parties. In one such meeting, a senior Trinamool MP — representing a seat in the neighbourhood of Paul's constituency — demanded that anti-rape measures should be relaxed in case of sex workers.
 
TMC chief Mamta Banerjee too, in the past surprised many by dubbing protestors of rapes as "Maoists" and "CPI(M) supporters". When a widow was raped in Katwa, Banerjee reportedly said her family was CPI(M) supporters. Last year in Kamduni, when she faced angry villagers, Banerjee labeled them as "Maoists." 


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