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'100% Ruling Party's Responsibility If....': Calcutta HC Raps Bengal Govt In Sandeshkhali Row

During Today's hearing, Calcutta High Court Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam asserted that if one percent of what advocate Priyanka Tibrewal, the petitioner in the Sandeshkhali row said were true, it would be shameful, considering Bengal boasts of the statistics report of calling itself the safest state for women.

PTI
Women in West Bengal's Sandeshkhali protesting against local Trinamool ledaers | Photo: PTI
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The Calcutta High Court on Thursday came down heavily on the Trinamool Congress (TMC)-led Bengal government while hearing petitions filed about the Sandeshkhali violence. Terming the entire incident 'extremely shameful', the court slammed the government, saying it is their '100% responsibility' if the 'safety of a citizen is under threat'.

About today's proceedings at Calcutta HC

During the hearing, advocate Priyanka Tibrewal, petitioner in the suo motu matter in the alleged sexual violence and land grab cases said she had received several complaints from Sandeshkhali.

"So many people came. They said nothing happened. I am putting the affidavit on record. I am not mentioning their names or they will be under threat. There was a lady who went to visit her father whose land was grabbed. She was taken in daylight and raped (by people), including (Sheikh) Shahjahan and other workers. This is not just land grabbing but deep issues, including government land officials. The land records were changed and (they were) asked to file a civil suit. How will these people file a civil suit? If they resist, they are tortured and raped. Even police are involved," she told the court.

While hearing the petitions, the Calcutta High Court said, "What has happened in Sandeshkhali is extremely shameful. The entire district administration and the ruling dispensation owe moral responsibility for what has happened in Sandeshkhali. 100% responsibility lies with the ruling party if the safety of a citizen is under threat; the government is responsible."

Furthermore Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam also asserted that if one percent of what advocate Tibrewal said was true, it would be shameful, considering Bengal boasts of the statistics report of calling itself the safest state for women.

The Chief Justice on Thursday also came down heavily on the lawyer of the suspended TNC leader Sheikh Shahjahan.

"You are appearing for an accused who is under investigation. You first clear the shadow around you, then voice your grievance," Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam said while adding that if he continues to appear for him, then the reasonable apprehension is that he has been set up by the people who are behind bars.

Suspended TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan in custody

After being on the run for nearly two months, former Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan was arrested by the Bengal Police on February 29 in connection with an attack on an Enforcement Directorate (ED) team in Sandeshkhali on January 5.

Moreover, Shahjahan and many of his associates have also been accused by several women of land grab and sexual assault charges.

On Monday (April 1) he was sent to the custody of the ED till April 13.

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