A former minister in Bengal who belongs to the Left has apologised for his shocking comments about Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. However, the State Human Rights Commission has said a public apology is not enough, and has asked the police to submit a report in three weeks on what action will be taken against Anisur Rehman.
"What he (Rehman) said about the chief minister prima facie constitutes violation of human rights," said the Commission's chief, Justice (retd) Ashok Kumar Ganguly. "Every person has got dignity. The comments are about the chief minister. It is a serious matter."
On Wednesday, Mr Rehman, who is from the CPM and is a senior legislator in the West Bengal Assembly, said at a public meeting in north Bengal, "I would like to ask Mamata what her rate will be if someone gets Rs 20,000 after being raped."
He was referring to the chief minister's recent announcement of compensation for a rape victim.
The CPM was fierce in its criticism of his statement and Mr Rehman apologised unconditionally.
Yesterday, another politician from Bengal, Abhijit Mukherjee, whose father is the president of the country, triggered a huge controversy when he said that the women participating in recent Delhi protests against the gang-rape of a medical student do not appear to be students but are "dented and painted". Mr Mukherjee, who is a member of Parliament, first said he had been misquoted but later apologised.(With inputs from IANS)