New Delhi: The National Commission for Women (NCW) feels that crime against women has "increased" in West Bengal under the Mamata Banerjee-led government and criticised it for transferring officers who have cracked rape cases even before investigations were completed.
NCW Chairperson Mamta Sharma said the state government has promised "neutral" investigations in all cases related to crime against women but they are still waiting to see if the promises are kept.
"Incidents of crime against women in West Bengal had been increasing gradually before, but the state has witnessed a sudden huge spurt in offences against women under the present government, especially in the last couple of months," Sharma told a news agency in an interview.
She said a recent NCW report had showed that increase in reported rape cases in the state was twice the national average. However, she hastened to add that she was "not saying that the state is unsafe for women under Mamata Banerjee".
A three-member NCW team led by member Wansuk Syeim had visited the state last month and in their report took exception to transfers of officers investigating rape cases besides demanding a "neutral" investigation and financial and other assistance to rape victims.
The Commission noted with "dismay" the transfer of two key officers involved in investigations of Park Street gang rape case and Bankura case "for reasons best known to the state government".
Banerjee had raked up a controversy after she said a rape case was "cooked up to malign" her government.
Drawing government`s attention to the issue, the report quoted an NGO `Maitree` to point out the state recorded the "second highest number of rape cases in the country and it had the lowest conviction rate".