Another rape remark row, this time by TMC MP

Kakoli Ghosh
Says Park Street case not rape

At a time when the issue of gender sensitivity has become the talk of the nation in the wake of the brutal gangrape of a 23-year old girl on a Delhi bus, Trinamool Congress MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar has become the latest to join the list of politicians whose unsavoury comments against women and rape incidents have outraged the nation.

Speaking to a TV news channel CNN-IBN on Friday, the MP kicked off a fresh row discounting the Park Street gangrape incident as "the result of a misunderstanding between the lady and her clients". "If you're referring to the Park Street rape, see that is a different case altogether that was not at all a rape case. It was a misunderstanding between the two parties involved between a lady and her client. This was not a rape," she was quoted saying to the news channel.

The Trinamool MP also defended her party leader and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's handling of the case. Mamata too was criticised after she described the February 5 incident as fabricated and an attempt to malign her government within hours after incident came to light. She was left red faced after the police probed the case and arrested a group of men on rape charges.

After the news was aired, it triggered angry responses from people from all walks of life. Dastidar later refuted the charges saying she never said what was being aired by the channel.

"What can I do if the news channels keep saying what I did not say? The news channel wanted me to comment on Anisur Rehman's comment against our Chief Minister. I told something about it. Later, they asked me something about Delhi gangrape incident and attempted to compare it with the Park Street incident. I told them that the two cannot be compared. It is an established fact that the woman in Delhi incident was tortured brutally unlike in the Park Street case. I did not say what they are putting in my mouth," Dastidar told The Indian Express over phone.

Reacting to the reports on the Trinamool MP's alleged remarks, the Park Street rape victim told The Indian Express that the MP's comment was not only derogatory but also uncalled for. "It comes at a time when the case in being tried in court. How could a woman, who is holding a high post, make such a comment? Was she present when I was being raped?" the rape victim asked. "Who told her that there was a misunderstanding between me and my clients? Even if a prostitute is raped, can it be justified? Rape is a rape and there cannot be a difference between a rape on an ordinary woman and that on a prostitute," she said.

"Unfortunately incident of rape is being politicised. If I would have committed suicide, then it would have proven that I was raped. If I would have been hospitalised like the Delhi woman in a critical condition, then it would have proven that I was raped," she added.

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