Sandeshkhali case: HC takes suo motu cognisance of assault | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Sandeshkhali case: HC takes suo motu cognisance of assault

By, Kolkata
Feb 14, 2024 07:06 AM IST

The Calcutta High Court has taken suo motu cognisance of the Sandeshkhali case and overturned the prohibitory orders imposed by the state administration. The court has appointed an advocate as amicus curiae and issued notices to the state government, police, and district administration. The court will hear the matter again on February 20th. The case involves allegations of sexual assault and forceful acquisition of tribal lands. A video has also surfaced in which a woman claims that housewives were forced to stay with TMC workers and leaders. The court's decision has been welcomed by BJP leaders.

The Calcutta high court on Tuesday took suo motu cognisance of the Sandeshkhali case and set aside the prohibitory orders clamped by the state administration in the area in North 24 Parganas district.

The bench appointed Jayanta Narayan Chatterjee, a high court advocate, as amicus curiae in the case and directed the registrar general to issue notices to the state government, police and district administration (HT)
The bench appointed Jayanta Narayan Chatterjee, a high court advocate, as amicus curiae in the case and directed the registrar general to issue notices to the state government, police and district administration (HT)

“I am very much disturbed with what is going on in Sandeshkhali. It is very unfortunate. Allegations have surfaced that women were sexually assaulted at gunpoint and tribal lands were forcefully taken away,” justice Apurba Sinha Ray said while taking suo motu cognizance based on media reports.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

The bench appointed Jayanta Narayan Chatterjee, a high court advocate, as amicus curiae in the case and directed the registrar general to issue notices to the state government, police and district administration. The court will hear the matter again on February 20.

A video had surfaced on Sunday -- the veracity of which Hindustan Times could not independently verify – in which a woman could be heard saying that many housewives were forced to stay at the homes of TMC workers and leaders for weeks or even months.

Meanwhile a bench of justice Jay Sengupta set aside the prohibitory order under Section 144 of the CrPC clamped in eight villages of Sandeshkhali since Friday.

“The bench of justice Sengupta pulled up the police and stated that the prohibitory order was cryptic and done without reasoning,” said an advocate present in the court room.

Bharatiaya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, including the party’s state president Sukanta Majumdar, who were stopped by the police earlier during the day from going to Sandeshkhali citing prohibitory orders, welcomed the court order.

“We welcome the order. The state wanted to gag all protests and didn’t want the women of Sandeshkhali to narrate their ordeals to the world,” Majumdar told the media while holding a protest near the office of the superintendent of police of Basirhat police district.

Sandeshkhali, located in Basirhat police district around 80km south west of Kolkata, has been on the boil since Thursday. Hundreds of women carrying sticks, brooms, and farming tools blocked roads and demanded the arrest of TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan and his two aides Uttam Sardar and Shibaparasd Hazra.

“The police and the state administration are maintaining law and order. If such orders come from the judiciary it may pose a problem. We should all consider this. We are all concerned with what’s happening in Sandeshkhali and the state administration is doing everything that needs to be done so that people can live peacefully,” Tapas Roy, TMC spokesman, told the media.

A clash broke out between BJP workers and the police when the former led by Majumdar tried to defy prohibitory orders clamped outside the office of superintendent of police of Basirhat.

A TMC team led by state irrigation minister Partha Bhowmik reached Sandeshkhali top speak with the villagers.

“BJP and other parties are trying to malign the state. I am going to the spot and will speak to villagers. There is no place in the TMC for those who disrespect women. This is not Gujarat,” said Bhowmik.

DIG CID Soma Das Mitra also reached Sandeshkhali on Tuesday. She said that some women had come to submit complaints.

“We have received four written complaints. Some of them alleged that they were beaten up. In most case the women alleged that they were threatened. We will investigate,” Mitra told reporters.

“It was a well-planned conspiracy by the BJP to create unrest in Sandeshkhali. Union minister Smriti Irani made provocative comments in Delhi on Monday and on her instructions Sukanta Majumdar led BJP workers and pelted stones at police personnel in Basirhat,” Shashi Panja, state minister, told the media.

Tell us what your First Vote will stand for in a short video & get a chance to be featured on HT’s social media handles. Click here to know more!

Get Current Updates on India News, Elections 2024, Lok Sabha Election 2024 Live, Election 2024 Date, Weather Today along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, May 23, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On