Press release : 10th June 2013

Last Friday, on the 7th of June 2013, a horrible incidence of rape and murder took place in the Barasat area of North 24 Parganas district of our state. The victim was a 2nd year student of Derozio college. In recent times attacks and sexual violence on women are becoming more and more frequent in our state. In the Barasat area too such crimes are occurring repeatedly. The government has not taken any effective measure against these crimes, and the offenders are roaming the streets free with the evident support of leaders of the ruling party.

On behalf of the West Bengal State Committee of the Students Federation of India, Comrades Madhuja SenRoy and Paheli Saha have submitted a memorandum to the State Women’s Commission today.

The chairperson of the Women’s Commission, Shrimati Sunanda Mukhapadhyay was not in office when we went to submit the memorandum, and so we submitted it to the Vice Chairperson.

In reply to our memorandum the Vice Chairperson of the State Women’s commission said –

1.       To prevent these incidences girls have to be conscious.

2.       Women are becoming independent, and these incidences are taking place because men can’t tolerate that.

3.       It is not possible for a government to take any “overnight” measures in just a span of two years

4.       It is not always possible to take steps because of the shortage of manpower in the administration.

5.       These incidences are on the rise because the population is increasing.

6.       Incidences of rape are coming to light because of the media, but these crimes took place previously as well.

 

On hearing the stand of the Vice Chairperson of the State Women’s Commission we are convinced that the Commission has been reduced to a subordinate organ of the state government. The State Women’s Commission is an autonomous organisation. In the past we have seen that with regard to incidences in Sutia and Bantola the Commission opposed the stand of the state administration in its report, and the State Government paid heed to their opinion and took necessary steps. Currently however it appears that the Women’s Commission has lost that independent identity.

 

When we asked what steps the Commission had taken in this specific case in Barasat , the Vice Chairperson did not have any straightforward response to give, and we felt that she was trying to avoid the question.

 

We strongly condemn this irresponsible attitude of the State Women’s Commission. If the State Women’s Commission is reduced to merely singing praise of the State Government then the future of Women’s security is going to be further jeopardized. We, on behalf of the Students’ Federation of India, West Bengal State Committee, want to declare that if the State Government and Women’s Commission do not take strong expedient steps in the Barasat case and with respect to Women’s safety in this state as a whole, then we will go on to wider struggles hand in hand with the common people of this state.

Thanking You,

Debajyoti Das (Secretary)

Madhuja Sen Roy (President)