Rapes will happen as long as world exists: TMC MLA

Rapes will happen as long as world exists: TMC MLA

Comment triggers a public outcry with women activists demanding Mamata Banerjee’s intervention

 Even before its MP Tapas Paul’s statement on unleashing rapists on rivals could become old history, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal now has to deal with a similar controversy in the shape of its MLA Dipak Haldar.

During a public party meeting at Diamond Harbour in South 24, Parganas district, Hildar said: “As long as the world exists, rape will be there.” The comment has triggered a public outcry with women activists demanding Chief Minister Mamata Banarjee’s intervention to control her party men.

“Rapes were committed earlier; rapes are being committed now. As long as the world exists, rape will be there,” said Haldar. The senior TMC leader described rape as a “social disease” and said: “We do not support rape. It is not possible for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alone to solve this problem.” Haldar’s comments came against the backdrop of the rising number of rapes in the state since the TMC assumed power.

Congress leader Manish Tewari said the comments were “extremely unfortunate” and that despite repeated uproars, TMC leaders have indulged in making insensitive and derogatory comments towards women. “The fact is public representatives need to be more than just restrained in what they say. More importantly, they need to play a positive role in creating a safe climate for women,” Tewari said.

Speaking to a news agency, Mamata Sharma, former chairperson of the National Commission for Women, said: “Such recurrent derogatory remarks by Trinamool leaders are very unfortunate. Especially in Bengal, where the chief minister herself is a woman. The chief minister has never looked into such issues or taken any action. These men should be suspended from the party.” 

Tapas Paul, during a Lok Sabha campaign in his constituency of Krishnanagar in Nadia district, had threatened to rape and murder women from the opposition. He subsequently issued an unconditional apology and the TMC has stood by him even though the matter was taken to the Calcutta High Court, where it is still pending.

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