Police lathicharge AIDWA activists marching for women’s safety in West Bengal
Kolkata police lathi charged the activists of the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) who were marching against the worsening situation of women’s safety and the exponential increase in the crimes against women under the Mamata Banerjee government. Many activists were injured in this lathi charge. The demonstrators have been detained by the Kolkata Police.
The march was preceded by day and night dharna at Dharamatala. A mashal juloos too was organized yesterday night from the dharna site.
West Bengal has today become one of the most unsafe states for women in the country.
- According the latest NCRB report (2016, which was released on November 30, 2017), it recorded 76 incidents of acid attacks and about 83 victims, accounting for 26% of all incidents and 27% of victims. Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in the country with almost double the population of West Bengal, recorded 57 incidents and 61 victims.
- Further in terms of the cases registered under Section 498A of the IPC (cruelty by husband or his relatives); in 2016 1,10,434 cases were registered across the country, of which West Bengal recorded 19,305 cases (over 17% of the total cases in the country).
- When it comes to human trafficking, West Bengal is not only the highest contributor to the crime but it alone accounts for 44% of all cases nationally. Of the 8,132 cases of human trafficking reported in 2016, West Bengal accounted for 3,579 cases. In terms of missing children, which is related to human trafficking, the State recorded 8,335 cases of children gone missing in 2016. One of the aims of the Kanyashree Prakalpa launched by the West Bengal government was to curb trafficking by providing conditional cash transfer to school-going girls but the numbers show that the scheme has completely failed. It also needs to be mentioned here that BJP which is trying hard to portray itself as the alternative to TMC in the state has been caught red handed of late, with its top leadership in the state involved in trafficking of women and young children.
- Statutory bodies such as the West Bengal Women’s Commission and the West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights have failed to put any system in place by which crimes against women and child trafficking can be arrested. While the overall conviction rate for crime against women in India stands at 18.9 %; in case of West Bengal, the conviction rate is the lowest in the country at 3.3 %.
The ruling TMC has a direct role in the increasing crimes against women in the state. TMC is a semi-fascist party which thrives on the support of lumpen elements and it has set in a process of lumpenization to create its own army of storm troopers. Violence and rape has been used as a political tool by the TMC.
Many of the rapes that took place in Bengal in recent times are gang rapes. Gang rapes are organised crimes, which are conducted by organised lumpens who chalk out and execute the crime. This has happened in Park Street, Katwa, Kamduni, Madhyamgram, Amta and all other places. All this is a direct outcome of the lumpenization and deliberate break down of the law and order machinery in the state.