West Bengal: TMC Ministers Visit Sandeshkhali Amid Protests; Assures To Update CM Mamata Banerjee About Women's Demands

West Bengal: TMC Ministers Visit Sandeshkhali Amid Protests; Assures To Update CM Mamata Banerjee About Women's Demands

While interacting with the women, the women demanded immediate arrest of absconding TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh.

Aritra SinghaUpdated: Monday, February 26, 2024, 03:44 PM IST
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Trinamool Congress minister Sujit Bose | File pic

Two Trinamool Congress ministers Sujit Bose and Partha Bhowmick on Saturday visited Sandeshkhali to take stock of the situation. While interacting with the women, the women demanded immediate arrest of absconding TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh.

State irrigation minister Partha Bhowmick said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had moved Calcutta High Court asking the court to give the case to ED. “If the state police were given the charge then he would have been arrested in 10 days. But ED has moved the court,” said Bhowmick.

Amid claims that the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee should listen to the problems faced by the women there, state fire and emergency services minister Sujit Bose assured that they will update the Chief Minister. “Please don’t misunderstand us and we will do whatever is needed,” added Bose.

Women protest outside Sandeshkhali

Earlier this day, the women of Bermajur in Sandeshkhali were seen protesting in front of the police and claimed that they don’t want the sops given by Mamata Banerjee but want the arrest of Shahjahan.

A CPI(M) delegation led by Minakshi Mukhopadhyay also visited the unrest area but were prevented from entering the area by the police. Minakshi later submitted a deputation to the SP office.

"I am asked not to enter due to CrPC 144. But Partha Bhowmick and Sujit Bose are from the same party as Shahjahan. I would like to ask the state government to return the lands of the villagers immediately,” added Minakshi.

Suvendu likens situation with Nandigram movement

On the other hand, Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari had likened the situation of Sandeshkhali as that of Nandigram where the former Left Front government used to take land ‘forcibly’.

Notably, the Nandigram movement in 2007-08 by the Trinamool Congress against the CP(M) had helped TMC to come to power in 2011. “The situation of Sandeshkhali is like Nandigram. The villagers had brought serious allegations about sexual harassment, land grab incidents,” said Adhikari.

NHRC, NCST visits site

Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) also visited the strife-torn areas on the second day and was seen talking to the allegedly affected people.

National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) Vice-Chairperson Ananta Nayak who visited Sandeshkhali couple of days back had told a news agency that Shahjahan used to torture tribal people and used to away their MGNREGA money.

“I have learnt that Shahjahan used to take away the hard-earned money of the tribal people. If the villagers had spent the money they got from MGNREGA then they were asked to borrow the sum and give it to him,” mentioned Nayak.

A senior official of the government camp had mentioned that almost 1250 complaints including 400 of land grabbing complaints had been received in the complaint camps so far.

However, SP Mehedi Hasan said that the total tally of the complaints is yet to be calculated and till Saturday nine people have got back their lands.

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