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Bengal: Suvendu Adhikari, five other BJP leaders head to violence-hit Sandeshkhali Sandeshkhali
Photo courtesy: Screenshot grab from X video of West Bengal BJP

Bengal: Suvendu Adhikari, five other BJP leaders head to violence-hit Sandeshkhali

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 20 Feb 2024, 11:03 am

Kolkata/IBNS: A six-member Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) team comprising Leader of Opposition and MLA Suvendu Adhikari are heading to West Bengal's Sandeshkhali, where women have alleged to have been sexually harassed by local Trinamool Congress leaders.

As per reports, a huge police force has been deployed in Dhamakhali to thwart the team's entry into Sandeshkhali, where Section 144 was lifted by the Calcutta High Court days ago.

The high court on Monday allowed Adhikari to visit Sandeshkhali, which has turned out to be the epicentre of political rivalries ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Suvendu, who left for Sandeshkhali from Science City in the morning, said, "If the state goes to the division bench challenging the High Court order which allowed us to visit, they are welcome. If the division bench overturns the verdict, then I will immediately return.

"But, if they illegally stop us, I will go to court again."

The turmoil in Sandeshkhali, a remote block about 80 kms from Kolkata and a part of the Basirhat sub-division of North 24 Parganas district, broke out first in early January when a team of Enforcement Directorate (ED) reached TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan's residence to quiz him in connection with the ration distribution scam in the state.

Shahjahan's aides allegedly assaulted and chased the ED officers turning the area into a political hotspot months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

While Shahjahan is now absconding, several women from the village came out with brooms and sticks demanding the arrest of the TMC strongman.

The protesting women have alleged Shahjahan and his aides captured several lands forcefully and sexually harassed them.

Reacting to the allegations, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said in the state assembly on Thursday, "By targeting Shahjahan, ED entered into the area and then created a rift between the Adivasis and minorities."

"If there is any genuine complaint, the government will take action. But first, I have to learn what has happened," she added.

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