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West Bengal govt 100% responsible: Calcutta High Court slams ruling TMC over alleged Sandeshkhali violence cases
Photo courtesy: video grab | wikipedia.org

West Bengal govt 100% responsible: Calcutta High Court slams ruling TMC over alleged Sandeshkhali violence cases

| @justearthnews | 04 Apr 2024, 09:17 pm

Kolkata: Calcutta High Court on Thursday came down heavily on the Bengal government while hearing a string of petitions filed on the Sandeshkhali violence, media reports said.

Referring to the case as "extremely shameful", the court reprimanded the ruling Trinamool Congress-led government, asserting that it bears  "100% responsibility" if the "safety of a citizen is under threat," reported India Today.

"What has happened in Sandeshkhali is extremely shameful. The entire district administration and the ruling dispensation owe moral responsibility for what has happened in Sandeshkhali. 100% responsibility lies with the ruling party if the safety of a citizen is under threat; the government is responsible," the High Court was quoted as saying by India Today.

During the hearing, advocate Priyanka Tibrewal, petitioner in the suo motu matter in the alleged sexual violence and land grab cases, said she had received several complaints from Sandeshkhali.

"So many people came. They said nothing happened. I am putting the affidavit on record. I am not mentioning their names or they will be under threat. There was a lady who went to visit her father whose land was grabbed. She was taken in daylight and raped (by people), including (Sheikh) Shahjahan and other workers.

"This is not just land grabbing but deep issues, including government land officials. The land records were changed and (they were) asked to file a civil suit. How will these people file a civil suit? If they resist, they are tortured and raped. Even police are involved," she told the court, according to the report.

Suspended Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan was arrested by the Bengal Police on February 29 in connection with an attack on an Enforcement Directorate (ED) team in Sandeshkhali on January 5, along with his aides.

Further, several women accused the Shahjahan of involvement in land grabbing and sexual assault under coercion.

This sparked a fresh political feud between the BJP and the ruling Trinamool Congress.

During Thursday's hearing, Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court TS Sivagnanam said that even if only 1% of what advocate Tibrewal stated is true, it would be disgraceful, especially considering Bengal's claim of being the safest state for women based on statistical reports.

The Chief Justice also criticized the lawyer representing Sheikh Shahjahan, who called for an investigation into the allegations.

Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam admonished the lawyer by stating, "You are appearing for an accused who is under investigation. You first clear the shadow around you, then voice your grievance."

He further warned the expelled Trinamool leader's lawyer that by continuing to represent him, there is a "reasonable apprehension" that he may have been manipulated by those currently in custody.

Moreover, the lawyer assisting the court in the case mentioned that a report has been submitted addressing all issues, including land grabbing, the report said.

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