The outrage over the rape of a 71-year-old nun and an armed robbery at a convent school in Ranaghat in West Bengal’s Nadia district was palpable as hundreds of protesters spilled on to National Highway 34 and blocked West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s convoy.
Protesters raised slogans “Chief Minister go back” and “We want justice” as Banerjee waited patiently in car, asking a handful of policemen in her security to show restraint. She did not direct them to remove the blockade as it could have led to violence.
The CM later came out of her car and blamed BJP and CPM for politicising the incident.
“The unfortunate incident is being given a political colour. This is a conspiracy and a handiwork of the CPM and BJP combine to stop the administration from arresting the real culprits… In the name of rally and protest, some political people made inroads here.”
Nadia SP Arnab Ghosh said the police have detained 8-10 people in connection with the incident, but the locals were unsatisfied saying even after 72 hours of the crime, the case was yet to be cracked.
Later in the evening, Banerjee visited the school and the nun in the hospital. After meeting the rape survivor, the CM said: “She is stable now. I have spoken to her. The police have been asked to take strongest of action against the culprits. They will arrest the culprits wherever they may be. Extreme punishment will be given.”
Earlier in the day, DGP G M P Reddy after visiting the school told reporters: “Investigation is going on properly, taking all aspects into consideration. But no arrest could be made. We have been getting response from various sources about the criminals and those are being verified.”
The district SP said: “Eight-ten people have been detained and some with facial relevance were being verified with the CCTV footage. But no arrest has been made so far.”
When asked if the gang had come from outside, he said: “I will not say anything at this stage in the interest of the investigation.”
Top government officials said late Monday night that heads are likely to roll in the police department not only for its failure to crack the Nun rape case, but also for the public showing no-confidence in the police before the Chief Minister. “The CM was like a sitting duck in the midst of several hundred hundred angry, shouting agitators who could have done anything they wanted,” said officials.
The Archbishop of Kolkata, during a candle light protest rally, said: “We are not too happy with the probe process even though the Chief Minister has taken prompt steps. The police have failed to make any arrest.”
Meanwhile, in the morning, the school allowed the students to sit for the ICSE board and other examinations.