The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Sunday, 28 August, demanded that Home Minister Amit Shah take responsibility for the alleged gang rape of a woman by two officials of the Border Security Force (BSF) in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district.
TMC leader Shashi Panja visited the spot along with others and questioned why Shah was silent regarding the issue.
"The incident of sexual atrocity (was) committed by the BSF on a lady in front of her minor child. We condemn this incident and we ask the Union home minister to take responsibility for this,” Panja said in a video that was shared by the TMC on Twitter.
The two officials, an assistant sub-inspector and a constable, were arrested on the night of 26 August on the charge of allegedly raping the woman near the district's Bagda outpost. The incident came to light after the victim filed a police complaint against the two soldiers.
They have been suspended from the BSF and handed over to the West Bengal Police, which is carrying out a probe in the matter.
The BSF has also ordered a court of enquiry against the accused, who allegedly raped the woman when she was trying to illegally cross over to Bangladesh from West Bengal.
'Amit Shah Must Apologise': TMC
Panja slammed Shah for not condemning the incident outright and demanded an apology from him.
“The Union home minister has continued to maintain silence on this incident. He does take credit for the central armed forces. Then why is he not speaking against or condemning the incident? We demand an apology, we demand a thorough inquiry into this," she said.
The Mamata Banerjee-led TMC has repeatedly expressed its dismay over the Centre's decision to extend the BSF's official jurisdiction from the international border by 15 to 50 km.
Panja, the state's minister of women and child development, also met the district magistrate and asked about the health of the victim.
"We could not meet her as she has left for her home in Basirhat (sub-division) with her child after discharge from a hospital. We heard that she is stable now though her child is under trauma," Panja was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Apart from Panja, the other TMC leaders who visited Bagda included MLA Partha Bhowmick, MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, and party spokesperson Kunal Ghosh.
The TMC also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the incident. PM Modi in his Independence Day speech had urged citizens to respect women more and ensure the highest respect towards them.
(With inputs from PTI.)