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Calcutta High Court slams Bengal govt over Sandeshkhali: 'Even if 1 per cent true, it's absolutely shameful'

The Calcutta High Court delivered a firm rebuke to the government led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during a hearing on affidavits requesting investigations into allegations of extortion, land encroachment, and sexual assault emerging from Sandeshkhali ahead of the Lok Sabha election.

Anurag Roushan Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan Kolkata Updated on: April 04, 2024 19:03 IST
Sandeshkhali incident, Calcutta High Court, West Bengal government
Image Source : PTI The Sandeshkhali incident rocketed West Bengal.

The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday came down heavily on the West Bengal government regarding the Sandeshkhali issue, calling it a matter of great shame. Hearing the matter, the court emphasized that ensuring the security of every citizen falls squarely on the shoulders of the state government. It further stated that both the district administration and the West Bengal government should bear moral responsibility for the events in Sandeshkhali.

What did the court say? 

Moreover, the court asserted that even if there is a mere one per cent truth to the allegations, it reflects shamefully on the entire administration and the ruling party, who must accept full moral accountability. "Even if one per cent is true it is absolutely shameful. West Bengal says it is safest for women. Even if one affidavit is proven to be right, the entire district administration and the ruling party have 100 per cent moral responsibility," a bench led by Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam stated. 

The court also severely criticised the lawyer representing Shahjahan Sheikh, who was apprehended on February 29 after evading authorities for nearly two months. The delayed arrest prompted criticism of the West Bengal government and led the High Court to issue a direct order to the state.

Shahjahan Sheikh's ED custody extended

Earlier on April 1, a sessions court in Kolkata extended the Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody of suspended Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Shahjahan Sheikh till April 13 in the Sandeshkhali matter. The ED also lodged two Enforcement Case Information Reports (ECIR) against him. One of the ECIRs pertains to corruption in the Public Distribution System (PDS), with the information originating from a letter penned by Jyotiprioryo Mallik, the former Bengal food minister. The other one was filed in regard to unlawful dealings in export-import transactions. This ECIR has allegations of forcible land acquisition. 

It should be mentioned here that the women of Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district have accused Sheikh and his aides of grave excesses and atrocities. Multiple women on the island accused Shajahan and his aides of "land-grab and sexual assault" under coercion.

ALSO READ: ED arrests Sandeshkhali-accused Sheikh Shahjahan in land-grabbing case

 

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