: A day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee gave a “love- angle” twist to the rape of a minor girl, who died later at Hanskhali in Nadia district, a first-time Trinamool Congress member chose to contradict the theory on legal grounds.
Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha member from Krishnanagar in Nadia district, Mahua Moitra, said that consensual sex with a minor, i.e., someone below 18 years of age, is rape as per the law and a crime. She said this after visiting the residence of the minor victim and interacting with the members of her family.
As per the Prevention of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, even consensual sex is considered rape if it involves a minor girl.
“A girl below the age of 18 is minor and the law does not identify the right of a minor to give consent for sex. Consensual sex with a minor, as per the law, is considered as aggravative penetration for sexual assault.
“As a party MP, all I want to say is that I am totally against such incidents. I cannot speak of others. But I will not tolerate such things,” Moitra said.
“What has happened is not right. I condemn it. The police have arrested the accused. But the opposition parties and a section of the media are trying to give a political twist to the entire event. I have received the news that there was a love affair between the accused and the victim. So why come to a conclusion before the investigation is completed,” Banerjee had said on Monday.
Speaking to the mediapersons on Tuesday, Moitra said that the state government has decided to take a zero-tolerance approach towards such incidents.
“The only identity of the accused is that he is a criminal. He does not have any political identity,” Moitra said.
Incidentally, the prime accused arrested in this case, Brajagopal Goyala, is the son of a local Trinamool Congress panchayat member, Samar Goyala.