National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Rekha Sharma Monday accused the government of “working overtime to prevent women victims of state atrocities from meeting her”. She said the government was not cooperating as she began her three-day visit in connection with the violence there last year during the 105-day agitation.
Sharma alleged Darjeeling Superintendent of Police (SP) Akhilesh Chaturvedi had gone on leave to avoid meeting her while Darjeeling District Magistrate (DM) Joyoshi Dasgupta did not meet her. “SP Darjeeling … he sure has many questions to reply for,” Sharma tweeted. “DM Darjeeling is not ready to come to meet me. Administration is working overtime to stop victims and complainants to meet me @NCWIndia. I can imagine what must have happened in those 105 days.” She said some women met her Sunday and narrated their ordeal. “Horrible stories of police atrocities on women and families…,” Sharma tweeted.
Calls to SP and DM for their reaction went unanswered. Separately, some women, believed to be part of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM)’s Binay Tamang faction, protested Sharma’s visit Sunday. Absconding GJM leader Bimal Gurung purportedly condemned it in an audio message. “It is such a shame that despite martyrdom of 13 Gorkhaland agitators and brazen threats of rape by a Darjeeling police officer, women staged the protest against the commission chairman’s visit,’’ he is purportedly heard as saying. “I urge women from across the Hills to reach out to Sharma…”