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HindustanTimes Mon,20 Oct 2014

Trinamool asks Tapas Pal to tender apology for rape remark

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, July 01, 2014
First Published: 14:56 IST(1/7/2014) | Last Updated: 17:02 IST(1/7/2014)

Under fire for allegedly threatening to send his men to rape supporters of the opposition, Trinamool Congress parliamentarian Tapas Pal will now have to issue an unconditional apology.  

The party has asked Tapas Pal to tender unconditional apology for his controversial comment, senior Trinamool leader Mukul Roy said, as opposition parties came down heavily on the actor-turned-politician and asked Bengal's ruling party to take strict action against him.

Read: How to stop politicians like Tapas Pal

A major controversy erupted after a video tape surfaced showing Pal, a yesteryear actor who took the centre stage in politics during chief minister Mamata Banerjee's rule, purportedly threatening opposition leaders and their families with rape. 

The chief minister is shattered by Krishnanagar Lok Sabha MP Pal's comment about letting loose rapists on women supporters of the CPI(M), Trinamool secretary general Partha Chatterjee said on Tuesday.

"The chief minister is shattered by the comments. The party has already cautioned him on Monday and demanded a written explanation from him in 48 hours," Chatterjee told mediapersons.

Rival political parties demanded that the administration moved fast and arrested the MP. Many city intellectuals voiced extreme concern at the way political foulspeak was gaining ground in Bengal.

Watch: TMC MP Tapas Pal threatening to kill CPM (I) workers, rape their women

Meanwhile, the MP's wife, Nandini, apologised for her husband's comments before the media.

In the video clip, Pal could be heard saying, "I shall shoot them myself and let loose my boys who would rape them, should they dare to touch our supporters."

Trinamool leader Derek O'Brien said Pal had made the comments in May in the face of "provocation" and condemned the use of language. 

Read: Trinamool MP threatens opposition with rape

"I am a ruffian and have committed many such acts. Let anybody dare stop me," Pal had said, much to the applause of his supporters.

However, Pal himself remained silent on the matter and did not issue a word of remorse. He even said he talked about 'raid', and not 'rape'. On Monday, the actor-turned-politician had told HT that he did not remember saying any such thing ever.

Meanwhile, the National Commission for Women (NCW) demanded strict action against Pal.
 
NCW Chairperson Mamta Sharma said, "The way Pal spoke about this, it is so shameful. First of all, he should be removed and strict action should be taken against him. Why has no FIR been lodged against him?"

Rival political parties also lashed out at the actor-turned-politician. While the CPI(M) demanded stern action including lodging of police cases against him for "inciting violence and rape" against Left workers, the Congress staged a walk-out in the state assembly after the Speaker disallowed its adjournment motion demanding the CM's statement and Pal's immediate arrest.

CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said, "Police has to immediately file cases charging him with criminal intimidation and abetment to violence and the law has to take its course.... Parliament should also take cognisance of this sort of speech. I am sure this matter will be raised in Parliament."

(with agency inputs)


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