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Thousands protest crime against women, 'Mamata's misdeeds'

June 21, 2013 19:27 IST

Thousands protest crime against women, 'Mamata's misdeeds'

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Thousands of people, including poets, athletes, actors, painters and students, took to the city's streets on Friday to voice their protest against rising incidents of crime against women in West Bengal.

Starting from College Square in the north, the march, which some quarters claimed was the largest since the new government took over in 2011, ended in downtown Esplanade, a distance of 2.4 km, bringing traffic to a halt.

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Image: The massive rally chocked central Kolkata for a few hours on Friday afternoon
Photographs: Abhiroop Dey Sarkar

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Poets, athletes, actors, painters and students take to the streets

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The march, which had no political label, followed Thursday's rally which was attended by celebrated actor-director Aparna Sen and educationist Sunanda Sanyal among others.

A series of rape and murder incidents rocked the state over the last few days, the last being the gang rape and murder of a college student in Barasat in North 24-Parganas district which resulted in spontaneous agitation by women of the area.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had to face angry women of Kamduni village in Barasat, where the incident took place on June 8, when she came calling there in an apparent attempt to blunt the growing agitation.

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Image: (From left in white shirt): Poet Sankha Ghosh and writer Samaresh Majumdar in the rally
Photographs: Abhiroop Dey Sarkar

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Naxalite leader Azizul Haque participates in protest rally

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Noted personalities who took part in the march included economist and former finance minister in the Left Front government Ashok Mitra, poet Sankha Ghosh, athlete Pinki Pramanik, theatre personalities Rudraprasad Sengupta and Suman Mukhopadhayay, painters Wasim Kapoor and Samir Aich, actors, Sabyasachi Chakraborty and Biplab Chatterjee.

Naxalite leader Azizul Haque was also present.

Residents of Kamduni village also joined the march. They demanded that the culprits be awarded death sentence. 

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Image: Actor Sabyasachi Chakraborty (in blue shirt) took part in a rally organised by intellectuals in Kolkata in protest against gangrape of a student at Kamduni, North 24 Parganas.
Photographs: Abhiroop Dey Sarkar

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Protest is also against misdeeds of present government: Mrinal Sen

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Renowned film director Mrinal Sen, who was to attend the event, could not do so as he was indisposed.

"I am not able to go because doctors advised against it because of my old age. I am involved in it and my mind is there. At the age of 91, I could not go due to ill-health. It is not only the crimes against women, but also against the misdeeds of the present government which forced people to stand up. It is necessary that they stood against this without fear," Sen told a private TV channel.

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Image: Citizens of Kolkata turned out in huge numbers in a rally organised by intellectuals of Kolkata to protest gangrape of a student at Kamduni, North 24 Parganas.
Photographs: Abhiroop Dey Sarkar

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'Mamata's remarks smack of arrogance of power'

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The brother of a rape victim in Gede in Nadia district along with members of the LGBT community and sex workers also joined the march.

Another filmmaker Tarun Mazumdar, who took part in the march, said, "I extend my support to the cause. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is asking everybody to keep shut. I suggest her to remain silent and it will do good to everybody."

Painters Aich and Kapoor slammed Banerjee’s remark that TV panelists who visit some channels were involved in pornography.

Aich said, "The chief minister is also a painter. Such remarks smack of arrogance of power for which she is talking like that."

Kapoor said, "The government has lost its mental balance." 


Image: Students carry out a signature campaign
Photographs: Abhiroop Dey Sarkar

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