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Sandeshkhali row: Police allow BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari to visit disturbed area after HC intervention

Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government and main opposition in the state BJP engaged in a political slugfest over the Sandeshkhali stir. The ruling TMC accused the BJP of defaming the state, while the saffron party attacked the government over the law and order situation in the state.

Raju Kumar Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 Kolkata Updated on: February 20, 2024 12:50 IST
BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari
Image Source : PTI/FILE BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari

West Bengal LoP Suvendu Adhikari along with BJP MLA Shankar Ghosh proceeded to Sandeshkhali in a boat after Calcutta High Court allowed them to visit the disturbed area in North 24 Parganas district. In a dramatic turn of events on Tuesday, first BJP leaders were stopped from entering the region, and then they started a sit-in protest and police allowed them to go. However, the High Court said they can go to Sandeshkhali but they cannot take any party worker or supporter with them due to Section 144 CrPC.

Earlier, the police stopped Adhikari from going to the trouble-torn area, where prohibitory orders have been imposed. The police said the government has moved a division bench challenging the Calcutta High Court order that allowed the leader of the opposition in the West Bengal Assembly to visit the area.

Adhikari said he will again move the court over the matter. "The police have violated the Calcutta High Court order allowing me to visit Sandeshkhali.

Section 144 of CrPC imposed in Sandeshkhali

"The police are saying that Section 144 of CrPC has been imposed and the state government has moved the division bench challenging the Calcutta High Court order. I will protest here and then move the court," Adhikari told reporters.

The BJP MLA from Nandigram, along with party supporters, staged a sit-in at Dhamakhali in protest against the state government's move.

This was the third time in the last eight days that Adhikari has been stopped from visiting the restive area.

The Calcutta High Court, which on Monday granted permission to Adhikari to visit Sandeshkhali, had also directed the BJP leader not to give any provocative speech or create any law and order situation in the restive area.

CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat also stopped

Senior CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat was also stopped by police from going to Sandeshkhali. 

Karat said that she was told by a police officer that her presence in Sandeshkhali will lead to breach of peace there.

The CPI(M) leader was stopped at Dhamakhali ferry ghat on her way to Sandeshkhali, which has been witnessing protests over allegations of sexual atrocities on women and land grab by some local Trinamool Congress leaders.

"Breach of peace occurred when women were called to the local TMC offices and subjected to sexual assault, now it is a fight for justice," Karat told reporters at Dhamakhali.

What is Sandeshkhali case?

A large number of women in Sandeshkhali had accused Trinamool Congress strongman Shajahan Sheikh and his supporters of "land-grab and sexually assaulting" them under coercion.

Shajahan has been absconding after a mob, allegedly affiliated with him, attacked Enforcement Directorate officials who had gone to search his premises in connection with a ration scam on January 5.

Also read: UP: Rahul Gandhi granted bail by Sultanpur court in 2018 defamation case


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