Mamata Banerjee backers now feel betrayed by govt

Mamata Banerjee

The protest against the government's "inaction" in the Park Street gangrape case, a year after the incident happened, on Tuesday brought together some of the academicians and intellectuals who had backed Mamata Banerjee in her fight against the Left Front rule ahead of the 2011 Assembly elections.

With the charges yet to be framed against those who allegedly raped an Anglo Indian woman and a mother of two children in a moving car after giving her a lift in the Park Street area, many felt "betrayed" by the government, whom they elected to usher in "change" in the state.

Eminent academician Sunanda Sanyal, who took part in Tuesday's march, said, "We have been betrayed by the new government. We fought to bring a change in guard. But now we see that this government is encouraging the anti-social elements. We never wanted it. We want the victim of the Park Street rape case to get justice. That is why we came on the roads. We do not see any difference between the police of Mamata Banerjee government and the police of Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government."

Among those who took part in the march included painter Samir Aich, writer-social activist Bolan Gangopadhyay, former Naxalite Asim Chatterjee. Hundreds of commoners and also several Congress leaders led by its state president Pradip Bhattacharya participated in the protest.

The march that began from Mahatma Gandhi's statue on the bustling Mayo Road was abruptly stopped by the police close to Park Street in the heart of the city. The protesters said they had duly taken permission from the police to hold the march to Park Street police station.

The woman was allegedly raped at gunpoint in a moving car in the early hours of February 6 by a gang of five after picking her up from Park Street area. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had termed the incident as "fabricated". Her cabinet colleague called the victim "a woman who runs an escort service" and a senior Trinamool MP recently told a news channel that it was "not an incident of rape, but a deal between a woman and her customers which had gone sour."

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