Addressing a government programme in the Jalpaiguri district, she questioned the role of the UP Police in handling the case that triggered a massive outrage across the country.
“Once Goddess Sita had to go through ‘Agni Pariksha’ (test by fire). Now in UP, the woman was raped, and later her body was put on a funeral pyre,” Banerjee said.
“If a crime takes place, action has to be taken within 72 hours, as we have done. What kind of an administration is this where the body of the woman was cremated in the dead of the night while no proceedings were initiated (against the accused),” she added.
Banerjee alleged that the mother of the woman was also threatened that she too would be cremated on the pyre along with her daughter.
Earlier in the day, she tweeted, “Have no words to condemn the barbaric & shameful incident at Hathras involving a young Dalit girl. My deepest condolences to the family.”
“More shameful is the forceful cremation without the family’s presence or consent, exposing those who use slogans & lofty promises for votes,” she said on Twitter.
Have no words to condemn the barbaric & shameful incident at Hathras involving a young Dalit girl. My deepest condo… https://t.co/EnKDUh8xWd
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) 1601524809000
In an oblique reference to the BJP, Banerjee said that some people say something and then do something else.
“So many atrocities are taking place against Dalits. During elections, some leaders go to their house with food brought from outside and pretend to have lunch or dinner there. After the polls are over, they bring down acts of cruelty on them,” the Trinamool Congress supremo said.
A 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly raped by four upper-caste men in Hathras on September 14 and referred to the Safdarjung hospital in Delhi on Monday with spinal cord injuries, paralysis and cuts in her tongue. She died around 3 am on Tuesday.
Her brutal death and subsequent cremation in the dead of the night in Hathras allegedly under police pressure on Tuesday triggered massive outrage over the law and order situation in UP and over women safety in general.