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Bengal’s Sandeshkhali on the Boil, National Commission for Scheduled Castes Steps in After NCW

  • February 10, 2024

Security personnel on guard during ED raid at TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh's home at Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district on January 24, 2024. (PTI)

Security personnel on guard during ED raid at TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh’s home at Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district on January 24, 2024. (PTI)

Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC were imposed as well as internet services suspended in Sandeshkhali in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district. Local women, with sticks and brooms, held protests demanding the arrest of absconding TMC leader Sheikh Shajahan and his aides, police said on Saturday

In what may spell more trouble for the West Bengal government, after the National Commission for Women, now the National Commission for Scheduled Castes has stepped in over the Sandeshkhali incident, where women with sticks and brooms in their hands took out processions in different areas.

The commission has written to the Chief Secretary, Director General of Police and Inspector General of Police of West Bengal after taking so motu cognizance of a news report. The commission has also written to the concerned District Magistrate. In a stern letter, the commission sought to know what action has been taken in the case within three days, including the FIR details and compensation given. Failing that, the commission may summon the high-ranking officials, reminded the letter.

“Please take notice that in case the commission does not receive reply from you within the stipulated time, the commission may exercise the powers of civil courts conferred on it under Article 338 of the Constitution of India and issue summons for your appearance in person or by a representative before the commission,” read the letter.

Earlier in the day, the NCW said on X (formerly Twitter) that it is “deeply disturbed by reports alleging the wrongful confinement and rape of Hindu women in Basirhat, West Bengal by Sheikh Shahjahan at the TMC party office”.

Urging swift action, it too shot off a letter to the state DGP for “immediate intervention and provision of medical care to victims”. The NCW has demanded a detailed investigation report within 48 hours while an enquiry committee headed by member Delina will be visiting the spot, it said.

Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC were imposed as well as internet services suspended in Sandeshkhali in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district. Local women there held protests demanding the arrest of absconding TMC leader Sheikh Shajahan and his aides, police said on Saturday.

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