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Law is not taking it into our hands: Mamata

A woman's body with 80 per cent burns was spotted in a mango orchard in Malda's Kotwali area on Thursday
Police on Friday collect samples from the spot in Malda where the body was found.

Soumya De Sarkar And Our Bureau   |   Calcutta   |   Published 06.12.19, 09:45 PM

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee appealed to the people to wait for investigative reports and not jump to conclusions on the murder of a woman in Malda, which was raised in Parliament on Friday.

The identity of the woman, whose body with 80 per cent burns was spotted in a mango orchard in Malda's Kotwali area on Thursday, had not been ascertained till Friday evening.

“An incident has taken place (in Malda). The police have taken up the matter and investigation is under way. The fact is the woman was burnt to death. We are awaiting the autopsy report as only on the basis of that report can we draw inference on rape. We cannot leap to conclusions,” said Mamata.

“I don't tolerate torture on women. The incidents in Hyderabad and Unnao have deeply moved me. Everybody knew about the Unnao case and despite that, how was such an attempt on the victim’s life possible? Why was there no security assigned? Ninety per cent burns… can't imagine,” Mamata said at a public meeting in Calcutta.

Although the meeting was organised to observe the anniversaries of B.R. Ambedkar’s death and the Babri Masjid demolition, recent atrocities on women covered a significant part of Mamata's speech.

Against the backdrop of the alleged encounter deaths in Hyderabad that came to light on Friday morning, the chief minister said: “Law is not taking the law into one's own hands. The law is that the police will do their own work, nab suspects, present them before courts, carry out investigations and file chargesheets…. The judges will do the work of the judiciary.”

Referring to the Malda in cident, she said: “If such incidents take place, immediate arrests and prompt filing of charge-sheets is a must. It should be done in three to 10 days. All documents must be in order…. These things have to be treated as an emergency. Those who don’t will be acted against.”

In Delhi, Union minister Smriti Irani referred to the Malda case in Parliament, criticising the Congress after party leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury spoke on the Unnao incident.

“There had been a similar case in Malda but those who spoke about Unnao and Hyderabad did not refer it. Those who are vocal now were silent when rape was used as a political weapon at the panchayat elections,” Irani said.

In Malda, BJP activists staged protests. On Saturday, a BJP delegation led by party MP Locket Chatterjee is scheduled to visit the spot.

Mausam Benazir Noor, the district Trinamul chief who is also the vice-chairperson of the Bengal women’s commission, has earned flak from Opposition parties. “Despite being in the official post, she has not made any move so far. It is disappointing,” said Gobinda Mondal, the district BJP chief.

Mausam brushed aside the charges.

“I am in Calcutta right now and in touch with the police and party leaders. Trinamul has protested the heinous act. Opposition parties should not to make it a political issue,” she said.

Alok Rajoria, the Malda police chief, went to the spot where the body was found. The police collected samples and spoke with some people to collect information.

“We have received a preliminary report of autopsy. It has been said the woman had a grievous injury on her head. Her private organs were damaged, too. But we are yet know whether she was raped or gang-raped before she was burnt,” Rajoria said.

Another officer said: “If we can get the sketch done, we would circulate it across the district and beyond to ascertain her identity. Senior officials of the state police are in constant touch with us to know the progress in the investigations.”

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