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Business News/ News / India/  West Bengal: Sandeshkhali violence causes Section 144, what happened? What is TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh accused of?
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West Bengal: Sandeshkhali violence causes Section 144, what happened? What is TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh accused of?

Women in Sandeshkhali gram panchayat have been agitating over alleged atrocities by TMC leader. BJP workers detained and released after sit-in protest in West Bengal.

North 24 Pargana: Security personnel deplyed during ED officers' raid at TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh's home at Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024. (PTI Photo) (PTI)Premium
North 24 Pargana: Security personnel deplyed during ED officers' raid at TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh's home at Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024. (PTI Photo) (PTI)

In West Bengal, the Section 144 CrPC has been imposed in and around 500 metres of area in seven gram panchayats, including Sandeshkhali gram panchayat till February 19, ANI reported.

What Sandeshkhali women are saying?

Women in Sandeshkhali have been agitating for the last few days over alleged atrocities committed against them by Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Shajahan Sheikh and his aides.

On February 13, clashes broke out between police personnel and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters after efforts were made to defy prohibitory orders clamped in the vicinity of the SP's office in West Bengal's Basirhat prior to the agitation of the party over allegations of sexual harassment of women in Sandeshkhali block, ANI reported.

What BJP is saying

West Bengal BJP chief Sukanta Majumdar, along with the other workers of the party, were released on February 13 night, hours after the police detained them while they were on a sit-in protest outside the SP Office in North 24 Paraganas' Basirhat.

Majumdar earlier alleged that TMC workers had been involved in the rape of women in Sandeshkhali for months.

"In Sandeshkhali, TMC workers have been raping women for months now - Sheikh Shahjahan, Shibu Hajra and Uttam Sardar are raping them. We had come to the SP peacefully with the demand to arrest them. If they do not arrest them in Sandeshkhali, how will the women in Sandeshkhali gain confidence?" Majumdar said.

Union Minister Smriti Irani earlier accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee “of being known for the genocide of Hindus".

"She will now allow her men to pick young married Hindu women to be raped in the TMC office... Who is this man who has been charged by the women of Sandeshkhali of the mass rape of Bengali Hindu women?... Till now everybody has been wondering who Sheikh Shahjahan is. Now, the question Mamata Banerjee has to answer is - where is Sheikh Shahjahan?," ANI quoted Irani she as saying.

What has Mamata govt done?

The West Bengal government, helmed by CM Banerjee, has formed a 10-member team headed by a DIG-rank woman officer to initiate a probe.

"The state is very concerned about the issue. I will request women to approach police if they have any issues or complaints and we will take strong legal actions," a senior officer told PTI.

A West Bengal Women's Commission team, led by chairperson Leena Gangopadhyay, visited the "troubled spots" in Sandeshkhali and spoke to women in the area who have alleged sexual harassment by the absconding TMC leader and his supporters.

"I have personally spoken to them and taken note of the complaints. Now, we will be cross-checking their allegations. I have asked police to submit a report on this," Gangopadhyay told PTI.

‘Well-planned conspiracy’ by BJP

West Bengal Minister Shashi Panja took a dig at the BJP on February 13 over Sandeshkhali violence.

"It was a well-planned conspiracy by the BJP to create unrest in Sandeshkhali. Yesterday, Smriti Irani made provocative comments in her press release from Delhi and today, on her instructions, Sukanta Majumdar-led workers and supporters of the BJP pelted stones at the police personnel," Panja said in a video message.

(With agency inputs)

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Published: 14 Feb 2024, 11:45 AM IST
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