Agartala: Even as the Bharatiya Janata Party in Tripura dismissed allegations raised by opposition parties and civil society groups against Labour Minister Bhagaban Chandra Das’s son for his alleged involvement in a case of gang rape, different organizations including the students’ arm of the CPIM, held protests across the state on Thursday.
The protests took place a day after Information and Cultural Affairs Minister Sushanta Chowdhury claimed that all the allegations levelled by the opposition Congress and CPIM were “false” and “fabricated”.
“The Bharatiya Janata Party condemns such incidents and police have been instructed to proceed with the investigation as per the law. We know the police will be successful in catching the real perpetrators. But, we also condemn the malicious campaign of opposition parties to gain political mileage over the issue,” he said.
“The police have arrested six persons in connection with the case. In the FIR, the victim did not mention the name of the minister’s son. The opposition parties in an attempt to tarnish the image of the government as well as the minister trying to catch fish in the turbid water,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Students’ Federation of India, Tripura state unit, on Thursday took to the streets against the incident and laid siege around the police headquarters in Agartala. The SFI activists have demanded strict punitive measures against the perpetrators. Failing to convince the agitators, the police arrested them and kept them in preventive detention. The student activists were later released at around 3:30 pm. As many as 38 SFI activists were arrested from the spot of agitation.
SFI state secretary Sandipan Deb claimed that in the last four and half years, cases related to crime against women rose manifold. “The police are playing the role of mute spectator as leaders of the ruling party are engaged in such kinds of crimes,” Deb said.
“The misrule of the last four and half years is nothing short of jungle raaj. We are here to demand the restoration of law and order in the state,” Deb said.
“We have no hope from the government as the ministers are trying to cover up such incidents. The SFI and TSU are demanding that whoever is responsible for the brutal attack on the modesty of the teenage daughters should be brought to book. Even if they are affiliated with the ruling party, they should be arrested and prosecuted as per the law,” Deb added.
Another social organization called Nagarik Suraksha Mancha met in a deputation at the office of SP Unakoti Kanta Jangir to demand justice for the victim minor.
A delegation of six leaders of the NSM comprising Shyamal Kanti Bhattacharjee, Swapan Baishnab, Tarun Saha, Susheetal Debnath, Ashapurna Das and Panna Deb met the police superintendent and handed over a written memorandum.
After the meeting, NSM leader Swapan Baishnab, said, “We have seen that an attempt is being made to give clean chit to the prime accused in a gang rape case that took place October 19 at Kumarghat.”
He claimed that the accused minister was influencing the police investigation. “He should have resigned from the post and helped the police. Had he taken those steps, he would have earned more respect in the eyes of people. But, he chose the way otherwise which has only fueled the resentment of locals,” said Bishnab.
He also lamented that even after protests and such grave allegations being levelled against an important minister of the state cabinet, CM Dr Manik Saha is not taking any steps. “His silence is concerning,” Baishnab said.
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