BJP MLAs reach violence-hit Sandeshkhali after police stop them briefly | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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BJP MLAs reach violence-hit Sandeshkhali after police stop them briefly

Feb 20, 2024 01:15 PM IST

Law enforcement authorities barred Adhikari from entering the volatile region, where prohibitory orders are in place.

Leader of Opposition in West Bengal assembly Suvendu Adhikari and Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Shankar Ghosh reached Sandeshkhali to meet locals hours after the police prevented BJP MLAs on Tuesday from travelling to the restive area in North 24 Parganas district.

Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari (ANI Photo)
Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari (ANI Photo)

The situation in Sandeshkhali has been tense for over 10 days after several local women accused Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sheikh Shahjahan and his associates of sexual assault and demanded justice.

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Adhikari along with other BJP MLAs staged a protest against the West Bengal police and government. The BJP legislator representing Nandigram, accompanied by supporters from the party, organised a sit-in demonstration at Dhamakhali to oppose the actions of the state government.

Numerous women in Sandeshkhali have alleged that Shahjahan, a prominent figure in the TMC, forcibly seized land and sexually assaulted them.

Law enforcement authorities barred Adhikari from entering the volatile region, where prohibitory orders are in place. They cited the government's appeal to a division bench against the Calcutta High Court's ruling permitting the leader of the opposition in the West Bengal Assembly to visit the area.

Adhikari stated his intention to approach the court again regarding the issue.

He told reporters, “The police have violated the Calcutta High Court order allowing me to visit Sandeshkhali. The police are saying that Section 144 of CrPC has been imposed and the state government has moved the division bench challenging the Calcutta High Court order. I will protest here and then move the court.”

Read Here: Why Sandeshkhali in West Bengal has been on the edge over the past week

He said, “They are challenging the High Court...I will sit here for an hour and then approach the High Court. This is a constitutional breakdown. They are disobeying judiciary and challenging our Constitution.”

West Bengal BJP MLA Agnimitra Paul said to reporters, "Mamata Banerjee wants to hide a lot of things. If we go to Sandeshkhali today, 'insects' will come out in the open. So, we are not being allowed to go. Our LoP has the permission from the Court."

Adhikari has faced hindrances in visiting Sandeshkhali for the third time within the past eight days.

The Calcutta high court, in its ruling on Monday allowing Adhikari to visit Sandeshkhali, also instructed the BJP leader to refrain from making any provocative speeches or causing any disturbances to law and order in the troubled region.

Read Here | ‘Mamata did not meet us’: Sandeshkhali women say ‘risky to live’ in village

The situation in Sandeshkhali has triggered a war of words spat between the ruling and opposition parties, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accusing the Trinamool Congress (TMC) of atrocities against women, while Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee blames the BJP for instigating trouble.

Shajahan has been evading authorities since a group, purportedly linked to him, assaulted officials from the Enforcement Directorate during a raid on his property related to a ration scam on January 5.

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain a petition seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe, pointing out that the Calcutta High Court has already taken notice of the issue.

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