The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Mamata at Advani door with CBI plea

New Delhi, March 14: Mamata Banerjee today sought Central intervention and a CBI inquiry into the Dhantola and Ghoksadanga incidents.

At a meeting with deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani this afternoon, she submitted a memorandum and said: “The entire law and order machinery in West Bengal has collapsed under the CPM and the ruling party has unleashed a series of atrocities on women and other innocent people of the state.”

Mamata said “30 women, including minor girls”, were raped and molested at Dhantola by criminals who owed their allegiance to the CPM.

She told Advani that even 18 days after the incident, the local police refused to act against those involved.

The reality, however, does not entirely match with Mamata’s version of the Dhantola outrage. Women from two buses returning from wedding receptions were “raped or molested and looted” by a gang of miscreants on the night of February 5. The men were asked to climb on to the roofs of the buses.

But the police had picked up CPM zonal committee member Subol Bagchi and former panchayat pradhan Saidul Karigar days after the incident, saying they were the prime accused in the case. So far, 23 people have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Mamata claimed today that the local CPM had tried to prevent her from visiting the place where the incident took place.

“The police force and the state administration have been politicised and most of them have now become card-holders of the ruling party,” she said.

The former railway minister argued that as part of a pattern, such “terrorism against innocent people” was unleashed by the CPM before crucial elections in the state. The panchayat elections, she reminded, are due in May.

Mamata made it clear today that the Trinamul Congress will make the “involvement” of the CPM cadre in “rapes” at Nadia’s Dhantola and Cooch Behar’s Ghoksadanga a “major plank” in the campaign for the three-tier panchayat polls. She has already asked party functionaries to intensify their “agitation against the state government”.

“The gangrape incidents clearly indicate how insecure the women are in the countryside. Our party will certainly highlight the issue in the campaign,” said Mamata.

Email This Page