Kolkata: Trinamool Congress legislator Sikha Mitra, who had rebelled against the party on several occasions earlier, on Monday came out in support of the anti-gangrape protests by the women of Kamduni village and said dubbing somebody a "Maoist" was a "serious" matter.
"The protests against the incident is unprecedented, good. Hats off to the women protestors. They have shown lot of guts," said Mitra, who represents Chowringhee constituency in the West Bengal assembly.
A second year college student, a resident of Kamduni in North 24 Parganas district, was raped and killed by a group of youths on June 7 while on her way home after her examination.
On a visit to the village a week back, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee shouted at the women protesting against the incident and seeking to talk to her.
An enraged Banerjee screamed "shut up" at the women and called them Maoists and CPI-M activists, drawing flak from the civil society, media and the opposition.
Mitra said she had no idea why Banerjee called the protestors "Maoists".
"Calling anybody Maoist is a serious matter. Why it was said I don't know. Only the chief minister can say why she said it," said Mitra.
The legislator said the protestors might have wanted to go near Banerjee as they thought being a women, she would understand their plight.
Alleging that police and the administration were turning a deaf ear to complaints from women, she said police is "highly partisan".
"If common people go to the police station, they are cold-shouldered. Police take the matter seriously only when they get calls from the ruling party."
Mitra, also the wife of party heavyweight and parliamentarian Somen Mitra, had drawn the Trinamool chief's ire late last year when she dubbed fisticuffs between the legislators of her party and the opposition CPI-M as "shameful".
It was was a deviation from the Trinamool line of blamimg the CPI-M for the entire fiasco. Prior to that, she had come under fire for filing a defamation case against party secretary general and state minister Partha Chatterjee.