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TMC Leader Abhishek Banerjee Likely To Address Rally In Restive Sandeshkhali In March

TMC sources indicated that Banerjee, accompanied by senior party leaders, will take the stage at the rally.

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TMC Leader Abhishek Banerjee likely to address a rally in Sandeshkhali
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Amid growing criticism faced by the party over the unrest in Sandeshkhali, TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee is likely to address a rally in the troubled riverine region in March second week.

TMC sources indicated that Banerjee, accompanied by senior party leaders, will take the stage at the rally. "Our leader Abhishek Banerjee is likely to address the rally in Sandeshkhali in the second week of March. However, the final dates are yet to be confirmed," a senior TMC official said on Friday.

The TMC has come under intense scrutiny from the opposition, primarily due to allegations of sexual misconduct against women and harassment of villagers in Sandeshkhali area purportedly by fugitive party leader Shahjahan Sheikh and his associates.

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While two key aides of Sheikh, Shibaprasad Hazra and Uttam Sardar, have been arrested with the latter being suspended by the party, the TMC convener of Sandeshkhali assembly seat himself remains at large.

According to TMC sources, Banerjee has expressed confidence in the West Bengal Police's ability to apprehend Sheikh.

"He believes that if police could apprehend Saradha group chairman Sudipto Sen, they can certainly arrest Sheikh. We have also taken action against leaders implicated in corruption cases. Therefore, there are no obstacles from the party's end preventing the arrest of Sheikh. It is the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that has hindered the efforts of Bengal police," a senior TMC leader said.

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Responding to queries regarding the failure of police to arrest Sheikh, DGP Rajeev Kumar had earlier remarked, "The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a case against him. Have they arrested him? The case registered by us has been stopped by the ED."

Previously, two delegations from the TMC, led by state government ministers, visited the strife-torn area.The unrest in Sandeshkhali revolves around allegations levelled against Sheikh and his supporters concerning land encroachment and sexual assault.

Sheikh has remained elusive since a mob attack on Enforcement Directorate officials in Sandeshkhali on January 5.

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