Kolkata: In an outrageous comment, a Trinamool Congress MLA on Thursday said rapes will continue to occur as long as the world exists.
"Rapes were committed earlier, rapes are being committed now. As long as the world exists, rape will be there," TMC MLA Dipak Haldar said at a meeting at Diamond Harbour in neighbouring South 24 Paraganas district yesterday.
Describing rape as a "social disease", Haldar added: "We do not support rape. It is not possible for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alone to solve this problem".
After Tapas Pal, Haldar's comments invited strong condemnation from the opposition and women rights groups.
TMC MP Tapas Pal had earlier threatened to kill opposition CPI(M) workers and have their women raped if a single ruling party worker was attacked. The comment had triggered an outrage forcing him to tender an apology.
Reacting to Haldar's remark, Congress leader Manish Tewari said it was "extremely unfortunate" that such insensitive comments continued to be made.
"The fact is that public representatives need to be not only restrained in their utterances but more importantly need to play a positive role in creating a climate where there is safety for women," Tewari said.
Former National Commission for Women chairperson Mamata Sharma said, "The Chief Minister of Bengal being a woman herself and these recurrent derogatory remarks by TMC men is very unfortunate. The CM has never looked into such issues. These men should be suspended from the party. Mamata Banerjee should take some steps".
Ritubrata Banerjee of CPI(M) said the statements are in "the line with what is happening in TMC itself".
"You cannot expect some action against these leaders," she said.
(With PTI inputs)