Bring Back Police Officer #DamayantiSen! #Justice for the #ParkStreetRape Victim
Though the brutal gang rape and murder of a young medical student in Delhi has spurred a movement of anger and outrage against the government and police in Delhi (click here), rape and femicide (the killing of girls and women) are the fastest growing crimes in India.
One of the questions we have to ask is : How does Indian society view this crime? Very often rape victims are blamed by the government and police for the crime. They question how the victim dressed, or claim they behaved “immorally,” implying that she asked to get raped!!
Even as the public protest against violence on women gathered momentum in Delhi and the rest of India, one female politician in Kolkata, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, chose this very moment, to demean another gang rape victim, of a highly publicized case in her city. She said, “They [the Kolkata rape and Delhi gang rape] are totally different. The incident at Park Street [Kolkata] was not a rape at all. It was a misunderstanding between two parties involved in professional dealing — a woman and her client.”
The state government had earlier attempted to cast off the case, by questioning why this woman was at a pub, dancing or drinking, and why she accepted a ride home with the men she met there. According to the government only prostitutes do such things, which is what Dastidar was re-iterating, and also further implying that it was perfectly alright to rape women who actually might be sex-workers!
In February 2012, a woman in Kolkata was taken hostage by a gang of men in a car, on the pretext of giving her a ride home from a pub. She was raped at gunpoint, and brutally battered. She was then dumped on the roadside bloodied. When she went to the police for help they jeered at her. The male police officers joked about going to the pub themselves to find a ‘girlfriend.’ They asked her to demonstrate what positions she was raped in. And they also delayed her medical examination as well as the investigation of the case deliberately.
The Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, a woman and a lawyer, dismissed the case without an investigation and stated the victim was lying . One of her other ministers began to openly question what profession she belonged to. Was she a prostitute? They threatened to begin investigating her family — her father’s past and work record for instance. The victim was traumatized. She said she felt victimized all over again.
The Chief Minister refused to withdraw her remarks, even when a conscientious police woman, Damayanti Sen, the city’s first female joint commissioner of police, took a personal initiative in the case, investigating it, and finally booked the rapists.
Instead, the Chief Minister hauled up Damayanti Sen, and sent away from the city on punishment posting. How many women will feel safe to come out and complaint about rape under this Chief Minister?
Let’s all call on CM Mamata Banerjee and her minster Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar to make a public apology.
Let us demand the Prime Minister of India sign an executive order re-instating police officer Damayanti Sen to her original posting in Kolkata city with a promotion. Let this be the start of our revolution for safety and justice for India’s Women! You can email him here. Or tweet him here.
STOP THIS GENOCIDAL AND BRUTAL VIOLENCE ON WOMEN IN INDIA. SUPPORT OUR PETITION FOR 3 IMMEDIATE DEMANDS FROM THE PRIME MINISTER BY CLICKING HERE