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Business News/ News / India/  Sandeshkhali TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh tortured tribals, extorted MNREGA wages: Probe
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Sandeshkhali TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh tortured tribals, extorted MNREGA wages: Probe

TMC Leader Shajahan Sheikh tortured tribals and extorted MNREGA wages from them if they voted against the party, found , the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) in its probe.

TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh is absconding since Enforcement Directorate attempted raiding his residence in land grab case.Premium
TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh is absconding since Enforcement Directorate attempted raiding his residence in land grab case.

In a blatant misuse of his power, absconding TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh used to torture tribals and even forcibly take their MNREGA wages if they dared to vote against Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC) party in Sandeshkhali, found the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) in its probe, reported PTI.

The politician, who is currently facing accusations of land grab and sexual assault under coercion, and his accomplices were allegedly “protected" by the West Bengal Police, complainants told a three-member National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) team.

The panel also found that Shahjahan would make illegitimate demands from the locals like asking women to meet him at night. The TMC leader used to torture those who did not comply with his demands.

"If the victim approached the police, they would not file an FIR or a complaint and instead ask the complainants to 'negotiate' with Shahjahan. The police backed the accused in this case," the NCST vice-chairperson Ananta Nayak said.

Never seen anything like this across India, NCST's Ananta Nayak

At present, the probe team is back in Delhi and is in the process of filing a report, which will be sent to the government. The panel has received more than 50 complaints of sexual harassment of tribal women and land grabs by the TMC strongman and his supporters, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) Vice-Chairperson Ananta Nayak told PTI. 

"The NCST team learned that Shahjahan would instruct poor tribal people to give him their MNREGA earnings. And in case they had already exhausted it, he would ask them to borrow money from lenders and give it to him," Nayak said and added he has not seen anything "like this across the country".

Sandeshkhali area in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district is based on the borders of the Sunderbans, about 100 kilometres from the state capital.

The panel also found that Sheikh would ask tribal families to hand over their land to him. Those who protested t his invalid demands ended up receiving saltwater in the fields.

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Published: 24 Feb 2024, 05:55 PM IST
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