Mere monetary compensation for rape victims is no way of protecting the honour and dignity of women, said political leaders, NGOs and a victim on Friday, a day after West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced payment for the sufferers.
Stringent action against rapists and security for women were the requirements of the hour, they said.
On Thursday, Banerjee said Rs 30,000 would be given if the victims were minors and Rs 20,000 for adults. The next of kin will receive R2 lakh if the victim dies during the assault, Rs 50,000 in the case of “80% disability” and Rs 20,000 for “40-80% disability”.
However, the chief minister’s statement did not spell out how the extent of disability would be estimated. It was also not stated whether the compensation was only for future cases.
The Anglo-Indian victim of the Park Street rape case said: “Once raped a person bears life-long trauma. They (victims) are ostracised. What would Rs 20,000 do? What about rehabilitation? What about proper counselling?”
Congress MP Adhir Choudhury, whose party shares power in Bengal, criticised the government, stating that compensation could not be a deterrent.
“The government transferred police officer Damayanti Sen, who did her duty after the Park Street rape case,” said Choudhury.
Sampa Sengupta, director of the Shruti Disability Rights Centre, an NGO dealing with rapes of physically challenged victims, said: “In our state a rape victim goes to the police station and the officers refuse to take an FIR.”