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Tripura Opposition Demands BJP Minister Son’s Arrest in Gang Rape Case

Opposition parties and various organisations protested across the state a day after the BJP defended labour minister Bhagaban Chandra Das.
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Image Courtesy: PTI

Protests against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Tripura labour minister Bhagaban Chandra Das’s son for his alleged involvement in the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl continued across the state on Thursday.

Opposition parties, including the Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) student body Students’ Federation of India, and several organisations protested demanding the arrest of Das’s son, the EastMojo reported

Congress leader Ashish Kumar Saha had accused Das’s son of being involved in the rape. “The BJP minister’s son was involved in the incident. No action was taken against him. We think the chief minister himself is well aware of the issue but is staying silent,” he told the media on Wednesday.

According to an FIR registered on October 20 and the preliminary investigation, assistant inspector general of police (law and order) Jyotishman Das Chowdhury said, the minor victim was lured by a girl to her friend’s rented place in Unakoti district, where a party was on, on October 19, The Indian Express reported. The girl was taken to a separate room where she was offered a drink and gang-raped, as per the FIR.

The Trinamool Congress tweeted on October 22 that women’s safety has “become a matter of grave concern in every single BJP-ruled state”.


She named two persons in the FIR. We did not waste any time as both persons were arrested within 24 hours of registration of the FIR. The accused persons had been identified as Papia Deb and Rajib Das. After the initial interrogation, their accomplice Tuhin Deb was picked up and forwarded to the court. Further investigation is under way,” Fatikroy Police Station-in-charge Biplab Debbarma told EastMojo.

The protests started after the BJP supported Das with information and cultural affairs minister Sushanta Choudhury claiming in front of the media that the accusation was “false” and “fabricated”, the EastMojo reported.

Six persons have already been arrested. The minister’s son was out of station since October 10, way before the incident occurred. We aren’t like the erstwhile Left Front government, which used to compromise with crimes against women. Our government works for the empowerment of women,” Choudhury had said.

In the FIR, the victim did not mention the name of the minister’s son. The opposition parties in an attempt to tarnish the image of the government as well as the minister are trying to catch fish in the turbid water,” Choudhury further said.

Condemning the “malicious campaign of opposition parties to gain political mileage over the issue”, Choudhury added, “The Bharatiya Janata Party condemns such incidents and police have been instructed to proceed with the investigation as per the law. We know the police will be successful in catching the real perpetrators.”

The SFI laid siege around the police headquarters in Agartala and demanded strict action against the perpetrators. Thirty-eight SFI members were arrested and later released around 3.30 pm.

The police are playing the role of mute spectator as leaders of the ruling party are engaged in such kinds of crimes,” SFI state secretary Sandipan Deb alleged and claimed that cases of crime against women rose have spiked in the last four-and-a-half years.

The misrule of the last four-and-a-half years is nothing short of jungle raaj. We are here to demand the restoration of law and order in the state,” Deb told EastMojo.

We have no hope from the government as the ministers are trying to cover up such incidents. The SFI and TSU are demanding that whoever is responsible for the brutal attack on the modesty of teenage daughters should be brought to book. Even if they are affiliated with the ruling party, they should be arrested and prosecuted as per the law,” Deb added.

Members of another social organisation called Nagarik Suraksha Mancha (NSM) met Unakoti superintendent of police Kanta Jangir and submitted a written memorandum demanding justice for the victim.

An attempt is being made to give a clean chit to the prime accused in a gang rape case that took place October 19 at Kumarghat,” NSM leader Swapan Baishnab said after the meeting.

Alleging that Das is “influencing the police investigation”, Baishnab said, “He should have resigned and helped the police. Had he taken those steps, he would have earned more respect from the people. But he chose another way that only fuelled the resentment of locals.”

Lamenting the “inaction” of chief minister Manik Saha despite the ongoing protests and such grave allegations being levelled against the son of an important minister of his Cabinet, Baishnab said, “His silence is concerning.”

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