Anti-rape protestors outside Mamata's house in Kolkata arrested

The police in Kolkata this morning arrested a number of women who were protesting outside the residence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee against the increasing instances of rape in the state.

Some 50 women had gathered for the protest under the aegis of Maitree, an umbrella organisation of women activists; and 13 of them were arrested. They were however not taken to court but released on bail from the lock-up at the police headquarters.

The demonstrators wanted a meeting with Banerjee to discuss a series of rape cases in Bengal in the last few days.

A college student was gang-raped and killed on Friday just 25 km from Kolkata; while a schoolgirl was raped and killed 150 km from the Bengal capital on Monday.  The attacks have shocked the state.

Earlier this month, an Irish tourist was raped in Kolkata, allegedly by a local businessman who she met at a nightclub.  He has been arrested.

The protesters also wanted Banerjee's response to a report by the National Bureau of Crime Records (NCRB) which says West Bengal tops Indian states in the number of crimes against women.  

The NCRB says Bengal recorded the highest number of crimes against women for the second year in a row in 2012.

The state government has however contested the data, claiming its disclaimers were not published.

According to NCRB, Bengal recorded 30,942 cases of crime against women in 2012. But state Director General of Police Naparajit Mukherjee said rape cases had come down "considerably" in 2012.

The NCRB shows that last year, West Bengal recorded 2,046 cases of rape - lower only than Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. In 2011, the state had reported 2,317 rape cases.