Is it justified to put question mark on the character of a rape victim just because she goes to a night club despite being divorced and mother of two children?
A 37-year-old Anglo-Indian woman, who was beaten up and raped at gunpoint in a moving car past midnight on February 5, was first mocked by the Kolkata police and then her claims were ridiculed by the chief minister Mamta Banerjee.
The humiliation did not stop here as the state sports minister Madan Mitra went to the extent of questioning the morality of the woman.
"She has two children and so far as I know she is separated from her husband. What was she doing at a night club so late in the night," Mitra said.
He even alleged that the complaint was fabricated and intended to extort money.
However, it was more shameful when the woman chief minister of the state instead of showing sympathy to the lady and facilitating a thorough probe into the incident termed it as cooked up.
Banerjee, who should have waited for the truth to come out, pronounced it as a fabricated incident to malign the state government.
The woman was raped and severely thrashed past midnight on February 5 by a man in presence of four other persons while returning from a night club at Park Street.
She had approached the police on February 8 but the FIR was registered on February 9. The police officers mocked her while registering the FIR.
She said that a police officer asked her derogatory questions like, "how is it possible in a moving car", and a senior officer even offered her a drink.
Casting aspersions on the victim, the police commissioner RK Pachnanda said that the complaint was an attempt to criticise the government and police.
Moreover, Police got her medical examination conducted for getting clinical and pathological clues about the crime on February 14, over a week after the alleged incident.
The delay has been questioned by forensic experts, women\\\’s activists and former policemen.
Well, now its the victim\\\’s turn to speak as three of the five accused have confessed to the crime in the police custody.
The case was cracked after a CCTV footage was recovered from the night club which showed some persons around a car in which the victim was getting inside, as originally claimed by the victim.
Her medical reports also say that the injuries on her description were caused by a physical assault and match with the date on which she says she was raped.
The activists have slammed state government, chief minister and Kolkata police for their offensive comments and insensitive gestures towards the victim.
Writer Suchitra Bhattacharya said: "No woman will falsely claim that she has been raped and the character of a woman should not be dragged into the issue. There is a Supreme Court ruling on this."
Its indeed ignominious that the state government and police tried to play down the complaint of the woman and humiliated her when she deserved to be heard with utmost seriousness.
As per the law, none of us has the right to make pronouncements, question the intent of the alleged rape victim or doubt her character while the probe is still on and for all the sufferings this Anglo Indian woman went through the Mamata Banerjee government should come forward and apologise for victimising the victim.