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Business News/ News / India/  BJP team, Congress' Adhir Chowdhury stopped en route violence-hit Sandeshkhali: 'Mamata Banerjee is scared...'
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BJP team, Congress' Adhir Chowdhury stopped en route violence-hit Sandeshkhali: 'Mamata Banerjee is scared...'

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury questioned West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee over the Sandeshkhali incident and asked, “Shahjahan and his supporters are all products of TMC. Why is West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee silent…”

A 6-member Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) delegation constituted by party national president JP Nadda speaks to the media as they stage a sit-in protest after being barred by the police at Rampur on their way to Sandeshkhali to meet the victims, in North 24 Parganas on Friday. (ANI)Premium
A 6-member Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) delegation constituted by party national president JP Nadda speaks to the media as they stage a sit-in protest after being barred by the police at Rampur on their way to Sandeshkhali to meet the victims, in North 24 Parganas on Friday. (ANI)

A delegation of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was allegedly stopped from visiting the Sandeshkhali village in West Bengal. "BJP MP delegation led by minister Annapurna Devi has been stopped from reaching Sandeshkhali," party leader Amit Malviya said while sharing a video showing MPs sitting on the road as they were not allowed to proceed further.

Meanwhile, Congress' West Bengal chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also said he was stopped by police en route to Sandeshkhali. "Why are opposition parties stopped from entering unrest-hit Sandeshkhali," Chowdhury asked.

Many in Sandeshkhali alleged violence and harassment by local Trinamool Congress (TMC) supporters. Several women in the region accused the local TMC strongman Shahjahan Sheikh and his supporters of land-grab and sexually assaulting them under coercion, news agency PTI reported.

'Why is Mamata Banerjee silent'

In a tweet on Friday, Malviya took a dig at West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee over the allegations against TMC supporters. He said, "A scared Mamata Banerjee has ensured massive police deployment. It would have been more productive had she used this force to arrest rapist Sheikh Shahjahan."

ALSO READ: 'Mamata Banerjee is known for genocide of Hindus': Smriti Irani slams Bengal CM after Sandeshkhali violence

Malviya accused Banerjee of "protecting a criminal and negating sexual exploitation of poor marginalised women, who come mostly from the SC/ST communities". He informed that the BJP delegation "will now visit the Governor to highlight the complete collapse of law and order in Bengal".

 

Meanwhile, BJP MP Brij Lal, who was part of the six-member committee of party MPs stopped in North 24 Parganas, said, "They (TMC government) may not let us go (to Sandeshkhali), but the country is watching the atrocities on women and it will not tolerate this."

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also questioned Mamata Banerjee over the incident in Sandeshkhali. "Shahjahan and his supporters are all products of TMC. Why is West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee silent over the Sandeshkhali incident?" he asked.

"We want to know what is the real incident of Sandeshkhali. What actually happened here? Why people are barred from entering here? Sandeshkhali is a subdivision of Basirhat and part of West Bengal, then why are we stopped from entering here?," Chowdhury said.

ALSO READ: Bengal conundrum plaguing INDIA Bloc? Mamata vs Adhir vs CPI(M) cast aspersion ahead of Lok Sabha Polls

Further attacking Mamata Banerjee, Chowdhury was quoted by ANI as saying, "Don’t try to paint this incident as a Hindu-Muslim communal incident. We are saying this because this is a very dangerous fact that CM Mamata Banerjee is tactfully trying to promote and that is very clear in her speech in the Assembly..."

'President's rule in West Bengal'

The BJP and Congress leaders were visiting Sandeshkhali a day after a delegation of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) had visited a village. He said on Friday the commission has recommended the imposition of President's rule in West Bengal in its report submitted to President Droupadi Murmu on alleged harassment of women by TMC supporters in Sandeshkhali.

NCSC chief Arun Halder said, "...Shahjahan Sheikh and his gang had created a very terrified atmosphere that people were so scared to speak out...They were saying that he and his gang would attack them again once we left."

Speaking to reporters after submitting the report to the President, Halder shared a brief account of atrocities and violence endured by the people of Sandeshkhali. "We have recommended that President's rule should be imposed in West Bengal over the situation there," he was quoted by PTI as saying.

 

He said criminals in the state have joined hands with the government there. "...under Article 338 of the Constitution, scheduled castes and tribes need to be protected but it is being violated, and that too with the support of government. So a President's rule can be imposed here (West Bengal)...," Arun Halder said.

About Sandeshkhali violence

Sandeshkhali, a village in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, has been witnessing protests over allegations of sexual abuse of women by a local TMC leader. Several women in the region accused the local Shahjahan and his supporters of land-grab and sexually assaulting them under coercion.

According to reports, many women in Sandeshkhali demanded the immediate arrest of Sheikh. However, the TMC leader has been absconding since January 5, after a mob, allegedly affiliated to him, attacked Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials who had gone to search his premises in connection with a corruption case.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Friday agreed to consider listing a PIL seeking a court-monitored Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the violence in West Bengal's Sandeshkhali village.

'17 arrested so far in the Sandeshkhali incident'

Mamata Banerjee informed the West Bengal Assembly on Thursday that 17 people have been arrested so far in connection with Sandeshkhali violence and accusations of torture against residents and women. Addressing the assembly, Banerjee asserted that no wrongdoer would escape justice.

"So far we have arrested 17 people in the Sandeshkhali case. We are looking into the situation; no one involved in any wrongdoing will be spared. I have sent the state women's commission there and formed a police team for Sandeshkhali," she was quoted by PTI as saying. "I have never permitted and will never permit any form of injustice to prevail," she added.

Barring three, the identities of the remaining fourteen are not yet known. Police are yet to reveal the identities. Police arrested former CPI (M) MLA of Sandeshkhali, Nirapada Sardar, and local BJP leader Bikash Singh, for their alleged involvement in violent protests there.

Police also arrested Uttam Sardar, a local TMC leader who was suspended by the party last week, based on complaints of torture and atrocities by some villagers. Apart from them, some locals were also arrested in connection with alleged violent protests.

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Published: 16 Feb 2024, 04:01 PM IST
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