Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) is horrified at the latest report of gang rape and murder of an anganwadi worker, Chabi Mahato, in Salbani village of East Midnapore district, W. Bengal. The barbaric use of sexual violence is becoming routine in conflict regions. The case of Chabi Mahato, as reported, is particularly heinous.  WSS is extremely disturbed by the lack of proper information and the reliance solely on police sources for reporting such serious incidents.  This is leading to widespread circulation of false information through the press, in an already vitiated atmosphere.  We see this happening in the recent reports of the so-called `surrender' of Soma Mandi and her allegations of rape by Maoists.  Moreover, the grave issues of violence against women by the police and security forces in these conflict areas tend to get sidelined, or completely ignored by such misinformation.


WSS demands an immediate, independent and impartial investigation, followed by swift action against perpetrators of this crime. WSS also strongly condemns the State for its insufficient and weak response to the rising numbers of such reports of sexual crimes against women in disturbed areas.


Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) is a network of individuals and women’s and human rights organizations from across India. It is a non-funded effort initiated by women, and is concerned with atrocities and repression against women by state and non-state actors, especially in conflict zones.


September 6, 2010