TMC Not to Shield Anyone in Nadia ‘Gang-rape’ Case, Says Party MP Mohua Moitra

Condemning the alleged gang rape of a girl who later died in West Bengal’s Nadia district, Trinamool Congress MP Mohua Moitra on Tuesday said even consensual sex with a minor is considered rape as per law and the ruling party will not shield anyone. The statement of Moitra, who visited the girl’s family at Hanskhali, came a day after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the minor and one of the arrested accused, the son of a local Trinamool Congress leader, were in love and wondered whether she was pregnant.

“The case has been registered under POCSO Act. We know that even a consensual sexual relationship with a minor is a crime as per law. This is a criminal act and there is no question of shielding anyone. It is unfair to blame the party, as the accused has been arrested,” she said. The girl died after she was allegedly gang-raped at a birthday party in the residence of the local TMC leader on April 5. She was bleeding profusely when she returned home and died later that night, according to her parents who lodged a police complaint on April 10.

“Whatever has happened is a condemnable incident. The police are investigating the matter, and already a few arrests have been made. The identity of those arrested is that they are accused. Their political identity does not matter,” the Krishnanagar MP said. Besides the TMC leader’s son, a friend of his was arrested by the police. Two others have also been detained for questioning.

“The party and the government have zero tolerance for such incidents. The party neither supports such incidents nor will it stand by the culprits,” Moitra said. The chief minister had on Monday wondered why the girl’s family members lodged a police complaint five days after her death and cremating the body. Opposition parties including the BJP had described her remarks as insensitive and aimed at shielding the culprits. The culprits will not go unpunished as this is “neither Uttar Pradesh nor Madhya Pradesh”, she said without elaborating. These two states are ruled by the BJP.

The girl’s mother had on Sunday told reporters that from the sequence of events and after talking to the people present at the party, “we are sure she was gang-raped by the accused and his friends. She also alleged that a group of people forcibly took the minor’s body for cremation even before her death certificate was issued.

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