Opposition parties in Tripura on Monday demanded action against Bharatiya Janata Party leader and state Labour Minister Bhagaban Das for the alleged involvement of his son in the gangrape of a 16-year-old girl last week, reported Northeast Today.
On October 19, the minor girl was allegedly raped by a group of men at a three-storey building in Kumarghat town of Unakoti district, reported PTI. A day later, the police registered a first information report in which the complainant named two persons.
The accused persons, identified as Papia Deb and Rajib Das, were arrested on October 21, reported East Mojo.
The girl’s mother alleged that a woman from the neighbourhood had taken her daughter to the building, reported PTI. The woman is allegedly a member of the BJP and was arrested on Sunday, reported Northeast Today.
Tripura Pradesh Congress leader Asish Kumar Saha claimed that the place where the rape took place was rented by the BJP minister’s son, reported The Times of India.
“She was gang-raped by the youths led by the minister’s son in the building,” the former BJP MLA told the newspaper. “When the girl did not return home until late night, the family members stormed into the room and rescued her in a critical condition.”
Saha also alleged that the girl’s family was pressured to not mention the name of the minister’s son in the complaint.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) state Secretary Jitendra Chowdhury said that Das’ son is known for violating laws.
“During the last Durga Puja, he was responsible for creating a ruckus in the Dashami Mela and publicly beating a police officer,” Chowdhury told East Mojo. “I want to say that if the people of Kumarghat are raising their voices against his son, he should think impartially. After all, he has taken the oath of secrecy and holds a constitutional position.”
Trinamool Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sushmita Dev said that Das should either resign or the state government should remove him from the Cabinet. “Such crimes call for strict punitive measures, and any dereliction in the investigation is uncalled for in a civilised society,” she added.
Meanwhile, Unakoti district spokesperson Pabitra Chandra Debnath claimed that the BJP leader’s son was not at Kumarghat when the incident took place.