Ranaghat: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's convoy was on Monday blocked here by angry protestors for nearly an hour demanding immediate arrest of culprits in the gangrape of the nun of a convent school in Nadia district.
The chief minister claimed that the protest was a conspiracy hatched by the CPI-M and the BJP to prevent the police from taking action against the real culprits.
Banerjee, who had gone to Ranaghat in Nadia district today to meet the victim at the hospital and also the officials of the Church and the school, where the incident took place on Saturday, faced angry protestors, comprising students and local people, who surrounded her convoy.
The protestors squatted on the National highway 34 demanding immediate arrest of the culprits.
As the prostestors refused to let Banerjee's convoy pass through the NH 34, an angry Banerjee who sat in the car came out and said, "The unfortunate incident is being given a political colour. This is a conspiracy and a handiwork of the CPI-M and BJP combine to stop the administration from arresting the real culprits.
"In the name of rally and protest, some political people made inroads here. They don't want real culprits to be arrested. Missionaries are for peace. Don't malign the movement of the missionaries," she said.
"I am waiting here, let me see what guts CPI(M) and BJP have, I challenge them. Let them touch me. Let me see how long they can stop me by gheraoing my convoy. I am not afraid of them. I challenge the CPI(M) and BJP. I have come up through mass movements. Let them come if they want to kill me. I always want the rapists to be hanged. Those who are culprits have committed a wrong and we will take strongest action against them," she said.
Senior police officials, including DGP G M P Reddy, and district police officials were caught completely off guard as hundreds of students and locals gheraoed the convoy accusing the police of inaction and demanding immediate arrest.
The students carried placards which said, "We want justice" and "hang the rapists". They kept on shouting as police officials and senior officials of administration were busy pacifying the angry prostestors.
Officials were seen pleading before the protestors with folded hands, however, the protestors denied to lend a ear to the pleas.
After nearly an hour, the convoy was seen moving again.
Banerjee was seen sitting in the front seat of her car and talking to party and government officials since her convoy of cars was blocked at 7.05 pm.
Earlier, after meeting the victim at Ranaghat hospital, Banerjee said she believed that the culprits should be hanged.
"We will take strong action against the culprits. I believe the culprits should be hanged. I went to visit the Sister. She is now stable. I have also talked with the Archbishop," she said.
"Two other Sisters have also been injured. I have met them. They are now keeping better," she said.
She walked on foot to the hospital to meet the 71-year-old nun, the survivor of the horrific incident.
Earlier before her departure for Ranaghat, the chief minister told reporters at the state secretariat that the strongest action would be taken against the perpetrators of the crime.
"People who commit such crimes are not humans... Our sentiments are with the victim, who is like our mother. The culprits are a disgrace to society," she said.