Kolkata, Oct 3 (IANS) A day after senior Trinamool Congress leaders were stopped from entering Hathras to meet a gang rape-murder victim’s family and were manhandled by police, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday condemned the crime and led a march here in protest while dubbing the BJP a “shame” for the country.
“During elections, they (BJP) go to a Dalit’s house, get food from outside, eat it and claim they ate at a Dalit’s home. After elections, they will torture Dalits and thrash them. The incident is utterly shameful,” said Banerjee.
“I feel like going to Hathras and meeting the victim’s family. What has happened is highly condemnable,” the CM said while dubbing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a ‘shame’ for the whole nation.
Equating the crime in which a 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly gang-raped and grievously injured to the trial by fire of Lord Ram’s consort Sita, Banerjee said that the latter had to give ‘agnipariksha’ once, but in Uttar Pradesh not only was the woman gang-raped but also her body was burnt by police.
A team of four Trinamool Congress MPs, led by the party’s Rajya Sabha member Derek O’Brien and Lok Sabha member Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, were involved in a scuffle with police on Friday about a km from the victim’s village in Hathras.
After the incident, the Trinamool supremo held a meeting on Friday night with her nephew and Trinamool’s second-in-command Abhishek Banerjee, the party’s all-India President Subrata Bakshi, and Secretary General Partha Chatterjee.
They announced a 10-day protest programme across Bengal and asked all district leaders to carry out the campaign from October 3 to October 12.
Meanwhile, the party has already started its campaign to target the BJP for the gruesome incident by posting different videos on social media platforms.
Saturday’s protest was Banerjee’s first such march since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in March this year. It started from Birla Planetarium at 4 p.m. and reached Mayo Road in Kolkata.
The Left parties and the Congress also took out protest rallies on Saturday evening, condemning violence against women, caste-based discrimination and the alleged ‘fascist behaviour’ of the Uttar Pradesh Police.