‘What’s Govt Trying To Hide?’: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury Slams Mamata Banerjee As West Bengal Police Stops Congress Leaders From Visiting Sandeshkhali

‘What’s Govt Trying To Hide?’: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury Slams Mamata Banerjee As West Bengal Police Stops Congress Leaders From Visiting Sandeshkhali

Chowdhury's remarks came amidst Banerjee's allegations implicating the saffron camp of instigating unrest in the area

PTIUpdated: Friday, February 16, 2024, 04:32 PM IST
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West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury was on Friday stopped by police on way to restive Sandeshkhali area, which has been rocked by protests over alleged atrocities on villagers by TMC leaders, citing prohibitory orders.

The Congress delegation spearheaded by Chowdhury, encountered initial hindrance from police officials at Sarberia and subsequently at Rampur, along the path to Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district.

Authorities cited prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) as the reason behind the prevention of the Congress delegation's entry into Sandeshkhali.

Chowdhury condemned the Mamata Banerjee-led government, asserting that it was attempting to politicise the situation.

Congress workers stage sit-in protest

He questioned the state government's rationale behind denying access to opposition parties, stating, "Why are opposition parties being prevented from entering Sandeshkhali? What is the state government trying to hide? Why are they trying to politicise it?" Following the interruption at Rampur village, Chowdhury and Congress workers staged a sit-in, leading to a minor altercation with police. 

Addressing reporters, Chowdhury criticised Banerjee for purportedly "communalising the issue." "The chief minister, instead of acknowledging that the incidents in Sandeshkhali are a matter of shame, is attempting to imbue them with a communal narrative by introducing the aspects of Hindus and Muslims. We condemn such communal politics," he asserted.

Chowdhury's remarks came amidst Banerjee's allegations implicating the saffron camp of instigating unrest in the area.

BJP, NCW accuse TMC, state govt of complicity in crimes against women in Sandeshkhali

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the National Commission for Women (NCW) accused the TMC and the state government of complicity in crimes against women in Sandeshkhali.

Responding to Banerjee's assertion that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has a presence in Sandeshkhali and has been a focal point of communal clashes, Chowdhury, a longstanding critic of the chief minister, questioned the relevance of the RSS in the violence.

"What connection does the RSS have with the disturbances in Sandeshkhali? Are Uttam Sardar or Shibu Hazra, Hindus or Muslims?" he queried.

"It is during the TMC's 13-year tenure that the RSS has expanded its influence across the state. Who bears responsibility for this? The TMC cannot shirk their accountability," he emphasised.

Earlier in the day, a delegation of BJP MPs, including two Union ministers, was also prevented from visiting Sandeshkhali by the police, citing prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC.

Protests in Sandeshkhali persisted for the eighth consecutive day, with a significant presence of female demonstrators demanding the arrest of TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh and his associates.  

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