ANI Photo | Sandeshkhali violence: BJP steps up attack on Mamata Banerjee government, TMC accuses opposition of disrupting peace

The situation in West Bengal’s Sandeshkhali sparked a war of words between the ruling and opposition parties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleging atrocities against women there and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accusing the BJP of fomenting trouble in the area.
The Sandeshkhali area has been witnessing unrest for over 10 days as women protestors are seeking justice against alleged atrocities committed by TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan and his aides.
Reacting to this, BJP leader Locket Chatterjee on Monday targeted Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee and alleged that atrocities against women are happening in West Bengal but the Chief Minister is silent.
“Right now you are not able to understand the situation of Sandeshkhali. We have heard of Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan and their atrocities on women, today the same thing is happening in West Bengal, and Mamata Bannerjee is silent. What is she saying? She is saying RSS is doing this,” she said.
During a press conference, the West Bengal BJP leader accused the entire police administration of becoming the party office of the TMC and added that the police do not register any FIR and there is not a single FIR related to the Sandeshkhali incident as the police are colluding with Sheikh Shahjahan.
“Sheikh Shahjahan, who is the leader of a gang, you have to get permission from him to file your FIR. Mamata Banerjee was saying yesterday that there is not a single FIR. That is why there is no FIR, because the police are in cahoots with Sheikh Shahjahan. The entire police administration has become the party office of TMC,” she said.
She claimed that the police are not able to trace Sheikh Shahjahan as he is protected by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee herself, and that this is also because of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
“Mamata Banerjee has not given a single statement till now. Sheikh Shahjahan is still absconding. Yesterday Shibu Hazra was arrested… but the main people are still out there, Sheikh Shahjahan’s family members talk to him every day, but the police are not able to trace him, because Mamata Banerjee’s has shielded Sheikh Shahjahan, because of the upcoming Lok Sabha election, and she needs 30pc of the vote,” she said.
Meanwhile, West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Mazumdar on Monday said that the party would also hold a 72-hour-long protest in the coming days demanding the arrest of Sheikh Shahjahan amid the turmoil in the state over the Sandeshkhali violence.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Mazumdar said, “We will hold a minimum 72-hour long protest in the coming days demanding the arrest of Sheikh Shahjahan. The probable day of protest is February 22.”
Training guns at Mamata Banerjee for accusing BJP of instigating violence in the state, Mazumdar said that Mamata Banerjee should be a little more sensitive towards women in the state and refrain from making such statements.
“The way she (Mamata Banerjee) is making irresponsible statements, being a woman Chief Minister, she should be a little more sensitive. Women of Sandeshkhali are saying that there have been atrocities against them. How is the BJP responsible for this? Firstly, the TMC was in a complete denial mode of any violence in the state and now they are making arrests in the same case,” he said.
“The money of the public is being spent to save the ‘Babus’ in West Bengal. The money which should be spent for the public is being spent for the politicians. Why do they fear the privilege committee if they haven’t done any wrong?” the BJP leader asked.
Notably, the Supreme Court on Monday observed that the Calcutta High Court has taken cognisance of the matter relating to the alleged sexual assault of women living in village Sandeshkhali in West Bengal and refused to entertain a plea seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation or Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the issue.
A bench of justices BV Nagarathna and Augustine George Masih remarked that the plea seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation or Special Investigation Team (SIT) can be considered by the High Court.
The bench also noted that the High Court has already taken cognisance of the issue.
After the top court did not get convinced by the petitioner, Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava withdrew the petition from the Supreme Court. However, the court granted liberty to the petitioner to approach the Calcutta HC with his prayer.
The plea has been filed by Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, who has moved the Supreme Court to seek the transfer of the investigation and subsequent trial outside West Bengal in connection with the alleged sexual assault of women living in village Sandeshkhali in West Bengal.
The plea moved by Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava also sought a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation or a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under SC monitoring.
On the other hand, launching an attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the Sandeshkhali violence, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday alleged that the BJP is trying to disrupt peace in the area and has not taken any action against its leaders.
Addressing a public gathering in Birbhum on Sunday, CM Mamata said that her government always takes action in case of any wrong.
“We always take action in case of any wrong. First the ED, then the BJP, and then the media. They are trying to disrupt peace there [Sandeshkhali]. If there are any allegations, we will take action, and whatever was taken forcibly will be returned. I have asked the police to take suo motu cognizance. Our block president has been arrested. In Bhangar, Arabul Islam has also been arrested. But what action has the BJP taken against their leaders? Remember, the BJP is anti-Bengali, anti-women, anti-farmer, and anti-dalit,” she said

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