Sandeshkhali violence: Strict action against the guilty, assures DGP

Police registered the second gangrape case against the three of the prime accused -- Shajahan Sheikh, Uttam Sardar and Sibaprasad Hazra. The trio have been booked for gangrape and criminal intimidation.

Kolkata: West Bengal DGP Rajeev Kumar on Thursday said that police will listen to the complaints of every individual in Sandeshkhali and strict action will be taken against those found guilty.

Kumar, who went to Sandeshkhali on Wednesday and stayed there overnight to assess the situation in the troubled areas in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, assured of strict action against those found involved in torturing women.

“I came here to talk to my officers. It’s our responsibility to see the well-being of the people. We will listen to the complaints of every individual. If there is any incident regarding land grabbing or anything else, we will take strict action against those found guilty. If people are found involved in torturing, we will take appropriate action against them,” Kumar told reporters at Dhamakhali this morning.

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Kumar, in his first visit to the area, since the protests began, held meetings with ADG South Bengal Supratim Sarkar, Basirhat Police District SP Hasan Mehedi Rehman and other police officers and also visited adjoining islands of Situlia, Sardarpara, Manipur on Wednesday evening to understand the situation there.

A special team of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) constituted to investigate allegations of sexual violence and land grabbing will visit Sandeshkhali on Thursday.

The NHRC has issued notices to West Bengal chief secretary BP Gopalika, DGP and sought reports regarding the incidents of violence in Sandeshkhali and details about the action taken against the perpetrators of crimes there within four weeks.

On Wednesday, police registered the second gangrape case against the three of the prime accused — Shajahan Sheikh, Uttam Sardar and Sibaprasad Hazra after a woman recorded her statement under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure before a magistrate, an official said.

The trio has been booked under IPC sections 376D (gangrape), 342 (wrongfully confines any person) 506 (criminal intimidation).

Sandeshkhali grabbed media attention after a mob attack on Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials on January 5. The officials went there to search the premises of TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh in connection with an alleged ration distribution scam.

The protesting women in Sandeshkhali alleged that Shajahan and his “gang” including Hazra and Sardar captured swathes of land by force, besides sexually harassing them.

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