Kaliachak, Malda, May 11, 2017: Leading Social Scientist and Firebrand BJP leader visited Kaliachak villages from 7-11 May. During her visit, she interacted with women and young girls. She participated in 20 Public Hearing. Several young girls demanded justice against their complaints submitted to police and courts. “I was beaten up by young men in the middle of a crowded market place, in day light, while I was going to a tuition centre. Till date, I have not got justice,” says a teenage girl who just finished her 10th class in school. She said, “This place is not safe for girls. Police is hand in gloves with criminals.”
According to a parent of two school-going kids, “Malda is quite unsafe these days. We need an environment of Peace.” It appeared that young girls were not comfortable to go to school or tuition centres in Kaliachak. There was unusual silence among mothers who did not know what to do. “Police demands money for lodging an FIR,” said a mother. Sreerupa Mitra Chaudhury is a renowned women’s rights activist. She is Honorary Chairperson of the National Institute for Gender Justice. She is well-known for her contribution in police sensitization and police reforms. In her early career, she was a Crime Journalist of the Times of India, Delhi. She reported plight of victims and families affected by crime. Her Back to Village campaign is well-known among the Civil Society Members. Recently, she delivered a keynote address on women’s empowerment in Kolkata, organized by Asian Institute of Poverty Alleviation and Trickle Up, a US-based women’s rights group.
Sreerupa Mitra Chaudhury is well-known for her grass-root social activism and women’s rights initiatives as well as several peace initiatives. She adopted 3000 villages of Malda in the year 2012 and works with 5 million people. Her initiative in Malda district is known as “Nirbhoy Gram” (Fearless Village). She headed several Task Forces and Policy Initiatives of the Government of India. After Nirbhaya’s rape and murder, Sreerupa Mitra Chaudhury was appointed Chairperson of the Special Task Force on Rape, Violence and Trafficking of Women and Girls. In the 90’s she headed the Rape Crisis Intervention Centre of Delhi police. She became Honorary President of the International Congress of Women in the year 2009 and hosted several important initiatives on women’s empowerment. Malda district shares border with Indian states of Bihar and Jharkhand, also an international border with Bangladesh. Kaliachak is identiofied with illegal drug mafia as well as poppy traders.
According to India Today reports, Kaliachak, a place near an international border, is considered as a passage of mafia and anti-socials of the neighboring states, and has become a depot of many anti-social activities. Crimes like keeping illegal arms, cultivation of poppy, dealing of fake note, illegal drug trafficking are rapidly growing in this region.