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Bengal governor & home dept in Twitter spat after former claims state saw 223 rapes in August

Home department called the claims ‘baseless, misguided’, to which Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar took exception and demanded an apology.

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Kolkata: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and the state’s home department got into a war of words on Twitter Tuesday.

The spat began when Governor Dhankhar shared a “fact-sheet” showing that Bengal had recorded 223 cases of rape and 639 cases of abduction in August 2020. According to the sheet, Murshidabad district recorded 51 incidents of rape, followed by Nadia district with 24 incidents and Malda with 22 incidents.

He called the numbers a “cause of concern”, and said: “Time to douse fire under feet and put law and order in place @WBPolice @KolkataPolice before attending flames elsewhere.”

Hours after Dhankhar’s tweet, which was accompanied by a picture of a sheet with district-wise figures, the state home department’s Twitter handle issued its first tweet since 31 August, stating: “Rajbhavan (sic) dissemination of WB ‘statistics’ on rape and kidnapping is not based on any official report, data, or information. Allegations are baseless, ill- founded, and misguiding: totally incongruous with authentic facts and figures.”

However, the Governor retorted by saying he was “stunned”, tagging CM Mamata Banerjee and calling the home department’s tweet a “terrible misrepresentation”. He said the statistics had been “diligently” corroborated from data officially sent by all divisions, and demanded the withdrawal of the statement with an apology.

Also read: CM Mamata and Governor Dhankhar in another spat, this time over his note to Bengal DGP

NCRB didn’t have Bengal’s 2019 data on crimes against women

Significantly, despite refuting Governor Dhankhar’s claims on the statistics on rape and abduction, the state home department did not release the government’s official data.

In fact, the National Crime Records Bureau’s 2019 report states that data was not received from West Bengal.

“Due to non-receipt of data from West Bengal in time for 2019, data furnished for 2018 have been used,” stated the NCRB report in the section on crime against women.

Also read: The Rajasthan lawyer-politician who has become a headache for mighty Mamata


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