Smriti Irani on Sandeshkhali row: ‘Mamata Banerjee will allow rapes in TMC offices’
Addressing a press conference, Smriti Irani said the citizens of the country can't be mute spectators.
New Delhi: BJP leader and union minister Smriti Irani on Monday lambasted Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee over the Sandeshkhali issue, claiming she is known for the genocide of Hindus and that she will now allow rapes of married women in the Trinamool Congress office.
"Mamata Banerjee is known for the genocide of Hindus. She will now allow her men to pick young married Hindu women to be raped in the TMC office... Who is this man who has been charged by the women of Sandeshkhali of the mass rape of Bengali Hindu women?... Till now everybody has been wondering who Sheikh Shahjahan is. Now, the question Mamata Banerjee has to answer is - where is Sheikh Shahjahan?," she was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
She claimed women in the Bengal town told the media that "TMC goons" would abduct women every night and rape them.
"In Sandeshkhali, some women narrated their ordeals to the media... They said TMC goons visited door to door to identify the most beautiful woman in every house. Who is young. The husbands of identified women were told that you might be the husband, but now you have no right on your wife. They would abduct women every night. They didn't leave us till they were satisfied... These accusations have been made by women of Dalit, ST, fishermen and farmer communities of the region," she added.
Addressing a press conference, Irani said the citizens of the country can't be mute spectators.
"The question is, can we, as citizens, be mute speculators? Who is this man who is charged by the women of Sandeshkhali with mass rape of Bengali Hindu women? I say this because the women of Sandeshkhali, when they spoke to the media locally, said that they were particularly identified as being married and Hindu. Till now, everybody has been wondering who Sheikh Shahjahan is," she added.
She also talked about the attack on ED officers in the North 24 Parganas district when they went to raid the premises of TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan.
"The last time you heard this name was when ED officers were 'gheraoed', injured and pelted with bricks and stones. The ED made a statement that three of their officers suffered injuries that were intended to cause death. Mamata Bandopadhyay, you have traded the dignity of SC/ST, fishermen families and the farming communities and their women for your political benefit," Irani said.
"Where is Sheikh Shahjahan? And for those women of Sandeshkhali who came out to talk to the media only so that they could draw attention to their plight, Section 144 now applicable in Sandeshkhali so that those women have no opportunities to assemble and speak to the media," she added.
The area in Bengal's 24 Paraganas district has been experiencing tensions since locals marched through Sandeshkhali with slippers in their hands, demanding arrest of the TMC leader over the alleged rape incidents.
Mamata breaks silence
Mamata Banerjee on Monday said those responsible for the violence have been sent to jail.
"Anyone can go to Sandeshkhali. We have no issues with that. We have already sent the state women commission team there. They returned and submitted a report. Those who have instigated violence have been arrested. The situation is being monitored closely and necessary steps are being taken," she said while speaking to reporters at Dumurjala stadium in Howrah district.
Governor CV Ananda Boss levels grave allegations
After visiting Sandeshkhali, West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose said: "What I saw was ghastly shocking, shattering to my senses. I saw something which I should never have seen. I heard many things which I should never have heard. If you have tears, this is the time to shed those tears... That how horrible human life is, where the law cannot take its course...When I listened to my mothers and sisters there...Imagine a happy home, husband and wife, grown-up children including girl children. Some goons come from inside the house, catch hold of the girl child, assault the wife in front of the husband and beat up the husband...This is no fiction. This is what I was told happened in this village in the last few days. They know who did this... This can never happen. We should fight it out under the Constitution. I will fight it out under the Constitution. I will fight it out within the laws of the land. I will fight it out the democratically elected government of the state. Certainly, we will spare no efforts to see that the guilty are punished."
Trouble for Sheikh Shahjahan
Earlier today, BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari and other MLAs were stopped from visiting Sandeshkhali.
“The authorities stopped us at Basanti Highway citing prohibitory orders there and a letter by the Basirhat police superintendent claiming that my visit to Sandeshkhali might lead to law and order problems in the area. This is absurd. How can I be stopped 65 km away from Sandeshkhali citing law and order problems? We condemn this attempt by the state government to suppress the truth,” he said.
Meanwhile, today, Shajahan Sheikh moved a special CBI court for anticipatory bail over the Enforcement Directorate (ED) summons.
With inputs from PTI, ANI
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