Opposition parties in West Bengal on Thursday lashed out at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee following the gang rape of a tribal woman at the behest of a kangaroo court in Birbhum district.
Expressing deep concern over the law and order situation in the state, the Left Front led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist and the Congress accused the government of giving indulgence to criminals which has led to anarchy.
"This incident is gruesome but unfortunately incidents of crime against women have been steadily rising and we have become No.1 in the country now. This rise started ever since our chief minister described the Park Street rape as fabricated," Left Front chairman Biman Bose said.
Bose was referring to the 2012 rape of an Anglo-Indian woman in the heart of the city which Banerjee described as "fabricated" and aimed at maligning her government.
However, she was subsequently proved wrong when the case was cracked and the perpetrators of the crime were arrested.
"Why is the chief minister silent? Only because this government has been patronising and harbouring criminals that such a situation has arrived that not a single day passes when rapes and molestations do not occur," Bose added.
The 20-year-old tribal woman was allegedly raped by more than a dozen men Monday night on the orders of a kangaroo court which found her guilty of having an affair with a man outside her community in Birbhum's Labhpur.
The Congress has planned demonstrations outside all police stations in the state Jan 28 besides staging marches in the city Jan 31 onwards. The party also questioned the silence of the chief minister on the issue.
"It is a matter of utter shame for us that despite having a woman chief minister, women are repeatedly being subjected to brutalities while the government continues to be a mute spectator," state Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya said.
"Why is she sitting idle? Instead of indulging in festivities, she should immediately rush to the victim whose ordeal is a shame for not only the state for whole mankind," he said.
Bhattacharya also threatened to call a shutdown in the state if the government did not take suitable action to prevent the rising crimes and improve law and order.