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Kumarganj rape: BJP takes out rally after court permission

Kolkata

10-January-2020

Demanding maximum punishment for the perpetrators of the Kumarganj minor girl's rape and murder, the BJP on Friday took out a protest rally here after securing permission for the march through a court order.

The rallyists decried the "deteriorating law and order situation" and the continuing incidents of rape in the state, as they took a circular route from Nandan Cultural Complex to Birla Planetarium before coming back to Nandan.

"We want maxium punishment for the culprits, we demand exemplary punishment for the culprits," said a banner in the forefront of the rally besides asking "erpor ar koto" (how many more now)."

State BJP General Secretary Raju Banerjee, party's state Mahila Morcha chief Locket Chatterjee, fashion designer Agnimitra Pal and other leaders led the well-attended rally.

Earlier, there was high drama as the BJP leaders tried to take out a march around noon on a pre-announced route from Nandan to Hazra in South Kolkata, but the police swung into action and arrested a number of party workers as soon as they assembled at the cultural complex for the programme.

The police claimed the rallyists did not have the requisite permission, but the BJP had by then moved the high court pleading for a direction to the authorities to allow the march.

The state government counsel told the court that the nod cannot be given for the march from Nandan to Hazra as another group has already secured permission for a rally on the same route.

Following an alternate route suggested by the state government, the high court permitted the BJP to take out a rally from Nandan to Birla Planetarium.

Earlier, Chatterjee targeted Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the refusal of police permission.

"After the heinous crime in Kumarganj, people wanted to hit the streets to protest. We sought police permission, but were refused at the instructions of the Chief Ninister as she did not want our voice of protest to reach across the country," said Chatterjee, an actress-turned politician.

"The Chief Minister is trying to push things under the carpet in Bengal," she said.

Chatterjee also wondered why Banerjee was silent about Kumarganj when she had sent a delegation to Hyderabad after the brutal gang-rape and murder of a young veterinarian there in November.

"And where are the intellectuals who were so vocal after the Hyderabad incident? Why don't they bring out a candle light march," she asked, saying that it is a shame that a political party has had to approach the court for permission to take out a rally on such an issue.

In a virtual rerun of Hyderabad incident, a minor girl was gang-raped allegedly by three persons at a secluded spot in the Belkhor area last Sunday. The perpetrators then killed the girl by slitting her throat and then burnt the body by pouring petrol to destroy the evidence of crime.

On Monday, the body was discovered from under a culvert by locals after they saw stray dogs fighting over charred flesh. The body was sent for autopsy and was identified by the victim's family members.

Following preliminary investigation, the police made three arrests. They were later sent to police custody for 10 days.

On Friday, three family members of the victim and an employee of a textile shop she had visited on the fateful day recorded their statements before the police.

On Thursday, the police had taken the three accused to Belkhor for reconstruction of the crime.IANS