Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal, TMC
The situation is being monitored closely and necessary steps are being taken, said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. | File photo

Mamata breaks silence on Sandeshkhali violence, says those involved arrested

Governor CV Ananda Bose described the Sandeshkhali situation as “ghastly” that left him “shocked and shattered”

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday broke her silence on Sandeshkhali violence and said those responsible have been put behind the bars.

Banerjee's remark came on a day when Governor CV Ananda Bose cut short his Kerala trip and visited the area in North 24 Parganas to assess and review the law and order situation there.

“Anyone can go to Sandeshkhali. We have no issues with that. We have already sent the state women commission team there. They returned and submitted a report. Those who have instigated violence have been arrested. The situation is being monitored closely and necessary steps are being taken,” she said while speaking to reporters at Dumurjala stadium in Howrah district.

Situation ‘ghastly’: Guv

Governor Bose described the Sandeshkhali situation as “ghastly” that left him “shocked and shattered”. He assured the women, who tied rakhis on his wrist, of full support to get justice.

“What I saw was ghastly, shocking, shattering to my senses. I saw something which I should never have seen, I heard many things which I should never have heard. I cannot believe this could happen in Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore's land,” Bose told reporters after taking stock of the situation there.

The governor said he would “fight it out under the (provisions in the) Constitution and as per the laws of the land”. Bose has already sought a comprehensive report on the Sandeshkhali situation from the state government.

Sandeshkhali gained attention after a mob attack on ED officials on January 5. The officials were there to search the premises of Trinamool Congress leader Shajahan Sheikh in connection with an alleged ration distribution scam. Sheikh has been missing since then.

Women in Sandeshkhali have alleged that Shajahan and his "gang" has been sexually harassing them.

BJP targets Mamata

The BJP on Monday launched a sharp attack on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, alleging that she is known for “genocide of Hindus” and is now allowing her party's workers to sexually attack women.

The scathing attack from Union Minister Smriti Irani at a press conference came following allegations by a group of women in Sandeshkhali.

“The question is can we, as citizens be mute spectators,” the Union minister said, accusing the TMC supremo of trading the dignity of vulnerable communities like scheduled castes and scheduled tribes for “political benefits”.

Meanwhile, senior BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari and several other MLAs of the party were stopped from visiting the unrest-hit area, with the police citing the imposition of prohibitory orders.

TMC delegation visit

A Trinamool Congress (TMC) delegation led by senior leader Partha Bhowmick is scheduled to visit Sandeshkhali in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas on Tuesday afternoon to take stock of the situation in the area where anger has been brewing against the local TMC leadership over alleged atrocities against women.

For the last few days, the TMC has been facing the ire of the locals in Sandeshkhali following demands of the arrest of party leader Shajahan Sheikh and his aides for alleged harassment of women in the area.

Though the TMC leadership suspended a few of its local leaders in the area, it has failed to douse the anger of the locals.

A large number of women in Sandeshkhali held protests over the last few days, alleging that Shajahan and his “gang” captured swathes of land by force, besides sexually harassing them.

(With agency inputs)

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