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Maitree Protesting Against Sexual Assault On Women

 On February 16, 2011, Maitree, a West Bengal based women’s rights network, called for a public protest over the incident in Barasat on 14 February. On that evening, Rinku Das, a young woman, was returning home late after work from a call-centre. She was being accompanied by her younger brother Rajib back home when three drunken men tried to sexually assault her and poured alcohol on her body. Rajib was brutally attacked and died next morning in a hospital. He committed a crime ----he dared to protest and was silenced to death.  Till newspapers broke the news on 16th, the government had been sitting quiet. The municipality is in the hands of the opposition Trinamool Congress. Its chairperson also described the boy’s death as “unfortunate” (literally, that it had been written on his forehead).

Protesting this tragedy, Maitree organized a public gathering, at which nearly one hundred women participated. The gathering was called outside the Jatin Das Park. After raising slogans demanding the punishment of the guilty, action against police personnel who had been on duty a short distance away but had been unwilling to help the girl, and  condemning all politicians who were using the tragedy for their own narrow gains, the gathering then formed a procession and marched from the Jatin Das Park to Rash Behari Avenue and back again to Jatin Das Park, where it then held a candle light vigil at the busy junction of Hazra Road and S. P. Mukherjee Road.

Subsequently Maitree has also issued an open letter to the Chief Minister of West Bengal.