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Mamata Banerjee Accuses BJP of Provoking Sandeshkhali Unrest, BJP Says, 'Shame On You' | Details

NCSC Chairman Arun Halder reported that residents of Sandeshkhali recounted their distressing encounters to the panel members during their visit to the North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal on Thursday.

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PTI
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee Photo: PTI
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The BJP strongly criticized Mamata Banerjee's suggestion that the RSS could be linked to the accusations of sexual assault made by multiple women from Sandeshkhali against members of her party.

The BJP described her comments as disgraceful and lacking in responsibility.

BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "A woman chief minister is saying so. Shame on you.... Why have you become so ugly, so cruel, so anti-women Mamataji?"

He claimed that had a BJP chief minister said similar things, a storm would have been raised in the country by leaders like Rahul Gandhi, opposition parties and human rights groups. "This is called shameful double standards," the BJP leader said.

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BJP leader Sanjay Seth told PTI, "The law and order situation has collapsed in Sandeshkhali. There's no rule of law, and the level of atrocities against women is alarming. 'Gundaraj' is prevailing in the state."

What did Mamata Banerjee say?

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused the BJP of instigating trouble in the restive Sandeshkhali and assured that all necessary measures have been taken to restore peace in the area.

Speaking in the assembly, Banerjee revealed that 17 people have been arrested in Sandeshkhali, emphasizing that no one engaged in wrongdoing will be spared.

Referring to ongoing protests in the area over alleged atrocities by ruling TMC leaders, Banerjee affirmed her commitment to preventing injustice.

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She stated, "We are looking into the Sandeshkhali 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."

Banerjee alleged a "sinister design" to foment trouble and asserted that the state government has taken all necessary actions to control the situation. Despite protests persisting for the seventh consecutive day, she addressed the concerns and demands of the people.

The chief minister mentioned the accusations against TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh and his followers, including forcefully capturing land and sexually harassing women. Banerjee claimed, "It has come to light how BJP workers have been brought, and violence was instigated in a planned manner. The primary target was Shahjahan Sheikh, and ED entered the area targeting him."

She asserted that the BJP aimed to create a conflict between minorities and Adivasis in the region, characterizing it as a "vulnerable riot area" with a history of tensions. Banerjee accused the BJP of attempting to pitch minorities against Adivasis, citing the RSS's presence in the area and past incidents of riots.

Banerjee mentioned that a police team is visiting people at their doorsteps to address grievances, pledging to act on reported issues. She emphasized the need for information to take appropriate action, reiterating her commitment to resolving the matter.

BJP's Suvendu Adhikari stopped from visiting Sandeshkhali

BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari was on Thursday prevented from going to disturbed Sandeshkhali by police.

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The vehicle, in which the Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly was travelling along with three other BJP legislators, was stopped by a posse of policemen at Rampur village en route to Sandeshkhali.

Adhikari said a total of four legislators were going to the area so that they do not violate prohibitory order.

"Three legislators and myself are going to Sandeshkhali. Let's see how can we be stopped from going as the total number is four. If prevented, I will move the court", he told reporters at the time of boarding the vehicle.

Along with Adhikari, the three other BJP legislators are Shankar Ghosh, Chandana Bauri and Tapasi Mondal.

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Earlier, Adhikari and five other BJP legislators were stopped on Monday from visiting the Sandeshkhali area in North 24 Parganas which became restive politically.

NSC Panel Visits Sandeshkhali

National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) Chairman Arun Halder reported that residents of Sandeshkhali recounted their distressing encounters to the panel members during their visit to the North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal on Thursday.

Sandeshkhali has been witnessing protests over alleged atrocities on locals by ruling TMC leaders.

Led by Halder, the team members spoke to residents of the area, which is predominantly inhabited by people belonging to SC and other backward communities.

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"We spoke to various people who spoke of the harrowing experiences they faced," Halder said after the visit.

He also accused the district administration of non-cooperation.

"When I informed the district administration about our proposed visit, we were asked not to go as the law and order situation there is very fragile. However, we stuck to the decision of paying the visit," Halder told reporters.

He also alleged that the state government did not provide the NSCC team with any logistic support for their visit and local transport was arranged to tour the area.

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