Sandeshkhali violence: Culprits won’t be spared, says Mamata in Assembly

A "sinister design is at play" to foment trouble in the area and the state government has taken all necessary actions to control the situation, Banerjee said.

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said that 17 people have been arrested in restive Sandeshkhali and no one involved in any wrongdoing will be spared.

Referring to the area which has been witnessing protests over alleged atrocities on locals by ruling TMC leaders, Banerjee said in the assembly that she has never allowed and will never allow any injustice to anyone.

“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,” she said.

MS Education Academy

“I have never supported injustice. I sent the state commission and administration there. Seventeen people have been arrested so far…Our women’s team is present there. A women police team is visiting people at their doorsteps to listen to their grievances. We will definitely address the issues that will be reported. I need to know the matter to act on it,” she said in the Assembly.

A “sinister design is at play” to foment trouble in the area and the state government has taken all necessary actions to control the situation, Banerjee said.

Protests persisted in Sandeshkhali for the seventh consecutive day on Wednesday, with a significant number of women taking to the streets, demanding the arrest of TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh and his followers.

The accusations against Shajahan Sheikh and his aides include forcefully capturing land and sexually harassing women.

Sandeshkhali ‘highly reprehensible’: Bengal Guv

Meanwhile, the West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose has submitted a report to the Ministry of Home Affairs, blaming the law enforcers for working hand in glove with “rowdy elements” in Sandeshkhali where women have been protesting against alleged atrocities by the ruling TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh and his followers, according to Raj Bhavan sources.

Bose, who visited the restive area and spoke with the agitators on February 12, said in the report that the local people want a constitution of a Special Task Force or Special Investigation Team to probe into their allegations.

“I have taken stock of the matter through direct interaction with the victims and by making extensive field visits in Sandeshkhali island. In my considered opinion, the situation there is highly reprehensible,” Bose said in the report to the Union Home Ministry.

Besides torture and sexual harassment of women when men are away, other allegations heard by the governor include grabbing land for prawn cultivation and coercing villagers to withdraw complaints lodged by victims to the police, the sources said.

“From the interaction with the victims, it is evident that the competent authorities of the locality have failed to instil confidence among the harassed and affected villagers. The precarious situation where people are in a confusion as to who are the offenders and who are the protectors’ does not augur well for a democratic society,” the report read.

The report named some of the followers of Shajahan Sheikh, who have allegedly been torturing the people of Sandeshkhali, according to the sources.

“The ghastly, shocking and shattering assault on the modesty, dignity and honour of women in large numbers by a small gang who display symptoms of anti-social personality disorder does not bring credit to anyone down the line in a democratic regime,” according to the report.

Sandeshkhali hit the headlines after Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials were attacked by a mob when they went to search the premises of TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh on January 5. Sheikh has been absconding since then.

The governor also said in the report that the police, instead of registering complaints against the miscreants, direct locals to make compromises with them while “goonda elements disguised as policemen trespass into the victims’ houses at night”.

The villagers and affected parties feel that certain actions must be taken by the competent authorities without fear or favour, he said.

The suggested actions include immediate arrest of the gang leaders and their henchmen, providing ex gratia assistance to victims, and transfer of all erring police officers.

“The lumpen elements in society are holding the civic life to ransom and indulging in nefarious activities affecting the honour and dignity of women. The rampant feeling among the victims that lawbreakers are in league with the law enforcement agencies militates against all norms of a civilized society,” the report said.

Later in the evening, the governor said, “This report is addressed to the people of Bengal. Based on the responses I have received, I will formulate my directives to the government and formally present my views to them.”

Back to top button