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Sandeshkhali BJP leader in viral video claims rape charges against Shahjahan and aides false, Mamata slams BJP
Photo courtesy: Screenshot grab from YouTube video

Sandeshkhali BJP leader in viral video claims rape charges against Shahjahan and aides false, Mamata slams BJP

| @indiablooms | 04 May 2024, 03:30 pm

Kolkata/IBNS: A viral video showing a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader claiming the Sandeshkhali incident, where Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders in Sandeshkhali including strongman, Sheikh Shahjahan, were accused of land grabbing and sexual abuse, was orchestrated, triggering a fresh faceoff between the two largest parties of West Bengal.

The video, which went viral on social media and was also shared by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, shows BJP 'Mandal president' Gangadhar Koyal claiming the rape charges were false and the planning was done by Leader of Opposition and BJP MLA, Suvendu Adhikari.

"There was no rape but framed it as rape... We got it done as per instructions of Suvendu-da who told us 'if you don't do this then you won't be able to get the strong people arrested and sustain yourself'," said Koyal in the video, which has not been independently verified by IBNS.

Slamming the BJP, Mamata posted on X, "The shocking Sandeshkhali sting shows how deep the rot is within the BJP. In their hatred for Bengal's progressive thought & culture, the Bangla-Birodhis orchestrated a conspiracy to defame our state on every possible level.

"Never before in the history of India has a ruling party in Delhi tried to malign an entire state and its people. History will witness how Bengal will rise in rage against Delhi's conspiratorial regime & ensure their Bishorjon."

What is the Sandeshkhali incident?

On January 5, the ED officials reached Shahjahan's residence to quiz him in connection with the ration distribution scam, in which erstwhile state Food and Supplies Minister Jyotipriya Mallick is already in jail.

In quite an unanticipated reaction, the ED officials were attacked allegedly by Shahjahan's followers who were in huge numbers and were forced to flee the spot boarding a vehicle of a news organisation.

Shahjahan- the head of an administrative block in Sandeshkhali- was an aide of Mallick, who is accused of diverting a huge sum of money from the food distribution system.

After Shahjahan went absconding from Sandeshkhali, a few women came out in protests against the leader accusing him of land grabbing for over a decade.

The protests escalated in February when a large of number of women with brooms, sticks gathered to demand the arrest of Shahjahan accusing him of sexual abuse.

Several women with most of them covering their faces accused Shahjahan and his aides of calling them to the local party office at odd hours. Some accused the TMC leaders of sexual abuse.

After over 50 days, police nabbed Shahjahan only after the Calcutta High Court cleared no stay was put on his arrest in connection with the January 5 incident.

Shahjahan was handed over to the CBI as per the Calcutta High Court order.

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