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MLA ties taunt to skirt

- After girl harassment, Chiranjeet blames women

Calcutta, July 28: Actor and Trinamul MLA Chiranjeet Chatterjee today blamed “skirt size” for incidents of sexual harassment, hours after two men were arrested in Barasat for allegedly stalking and passing lewd remarks at a teenager and assaulting her father when he protested.

“Such incidents have been happening for ages,” Chiranjeet, the local MLA, said standing in front of Barasat police station.

“Women are to blame for this to some extent. Their skirt size and dress are changing. Why? Must be for the entertainment of men, to earn their appreciation.”

He did not stop there. “People call it ‘teasing’ when someone uses a bad word instead of appreciating.”

The victim — a 17-year-old returning home to Banamalipur from a private tutor’s class — was chased by a gang of four while walking past the Zilla Parishad Bhavan near Barasat railway station around 9pm.

She tried to walk faster but the youths kept following her, passing lewd remarks.

“My wife phoned me to say our daughter had called her and said some youths were harassing her. I was having tea at a stall near the station. I rushed towards the road,” the girl’s father, a zilla parishad employee, said.

“I saw her surrounded by the youths. When I protested, they punched me.’

The girl’s mother too arrived with neighbours. One of the youths was caught while the others fled.

The spot was the same where teenager Rajib Das was stabbed to death in February last year when he tried to stop a gang that was molesting his sister and sprinkling alcohol on her.

Paresh Roy, the officer in charge of Barasat police station, said: “Two of the accused, Ramesh Das and Subhankar Das, have been arrested. They have been remanded in 14 days’ judicial custody.”

Chiranjeet said: “If everyone were good, there would have been no cinema. Without a villain, there cannot be cinema. Without Ravan, there can’t be a Ramayan.”

The state women’s commission chief, Sunanda Mukherjee, said: “The incident has proved yet again that though girls have moved ahead with time, men haven’t. We need to find out why the mentality of most men is what it was 150 years ago.”

Chiranjeet defended his remarks. “Whatever I said was as a guardian… a father.”

The teenager harassed last night was wearing a salwar-kameez.