Updated February 26th, 2024 at 01:16 IST

Sandeshkhali: Innocents Hunted Down, Criminals Walking Scot-Free, Fact-Finding Team says

Sandeshkhali LIVE: After the fact-finding team was arrested by police, fresh protests erupted in Bermajur. Here are all the latest updates, stay tuned.

Reported by: Tanisha Rajput
The 6-member fact-finding team of civil society has been released from PHQ Lal Bazaar, Kolkata. | Image:ANI
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North 24 Parganas: The Fact-Finding team en route to Sandeshkhali was released on Sunday after they were stopped and by police in the morning. The fact-finding committee of the civil society consists of former Chief Justice of Patna High Court Narasimha Reddy, Charu Wali Khanna, Rajpal Singh, Om Prakash Vyas. Bhavna Bajaj and Sanjeev Nayak. This isn't the first time West Bengal police have stopped people from visiting the violence-torn area. Earlier BJP leaders like Suvendhu Adhikari, Locket Chatterjee, and many others were denied entry. However, a CPI(M) delegation,  managed to enter the area, but was barred by the police from visiting the villages, citing prohibitory orders under Section 144. This comes as the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) team recently paid a visit to the region, where it said that it met with the victims and received 50 complaints of “sexual abuse and land grab” from the tribal families against absconding Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Shahjahan Sheikh and his aides.

Here are all the latest updates regarding Sandeshkhali:

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Central Forces Can Locate Shahjahan in an Hour, Says Union Minister Nisith Pramanik

On Sandeshkhali violence and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's upcoming visit, Union Minister Nisith Pramanik, “I have said earlier also that if the Mamata Banerjee government is unable to arrest him (Shahjahan Sheikh), then they should seek help from the Central government. The Center exists solely to support the state. The force is fully prepared. We have the capability to locate him in an hour and we are always ready to support the state in this matter. Ultimately this is not going to benefit Trinamool Congress and at the same time I would also like to say that the Prime Minister will come here and the entire people of Bengal are fully prepared to welcome him, they will welcome him with great enthusiasm.”

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Innocents Hunted Down, Criminals Walking Scot-Free: Fact-Finding Team

The 6-member fact-finding team said that the police is not pursuing criminals. "Instead, they're after innocents and people like us," said a member from the fact-finding team.

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Constitutional Breakdown In Sandeshkhali: Fact-Finding Team

"It is difficult to even go to that place. It is an unfortunate situation. Yesterday, we found out about another place where Rohingyas have entered and are threatening the locals. There is a constitutional breakdown here, said a member of the 6-member fact-find team," that was arrested and later released today.

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TMC not shielding absconding Shahjahan Sheikh: Party leader Abhishek Banerjee on Sandeshkhali issue

Amid allegations from the locals that Mamata's police are protecting Shahjahan, TMC MP and Mamata's nephew Abhishek Banerjee stated that the administration has no knowledge about Shahjahan's whereabouts. 

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Locals Gehrao TMC Leader Accused of Grabbing Lands, Put Him Under House Arrest

TMC Leader Ajit Maity was removed from his post following several allegations from the locals

TMC leader Ajit Maity hiding in a house in Bermazur village as locals are not allowing to come out. There are land grabbing allegation against him.

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Party Will Not Support Leaders Who Are Torturing People: State Minister Partha Bhowmick in Sandeshkhali

As anger over Shahjahan aide Ajit Maity grows, Mamata's minister said that the party will not stand up for any leaders who are accused of grabbing lands from the poor and committing atrocities.

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Lowest level of Oppression, Says Fact-Finding Team

“This is the lowest level of oppression. The cops stopped and prevented us from going as they were afraid. We are going to meet the Governor at 6 pm,” said a member from the fact-finding team.

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TMC Leader Accused Of Grabbing Lands Chased Away by Villagers

The women of Sandeshkhali chased TMC leader Ajit Maity who took refuge in the house of a civic police. He has been accused of grabbing lands of villagers. Now the question of the villagers is simple - why isn't the police arresting him, rather bringing force to evacuate him safely?: Bengal BJP

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Fact-Finding Team Released

The 6-member fact-finding team including the former Patna HC Chief Justice L Narasimha Reddy, OP Vyas, Charu Wali Khanna, Bhavna Bajaj, Rajpal Singh and Sanjeev Nayak have been released from PHQ Lal Bazaar, Kolkata.

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Women Offer Sarees, Bangles to Cops

In the latest updates from the Sandeshkhali region, fresh protest have occurred in Bermajur region where the women protesters are offering sarees and bangles to the Bengal cops. 

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No Democracy in Bengal: State BJP Chief Majumdar

In an exclusive phone conversation with Republic TV, West Bengal BJP chief Sukanta Majumdar said, "The action of West Bengal Police proves that there is no democracy in Bengal and therefore a retired chief justice has been arrested, while Trinamool Congress leaders are roaming around despite Section 144 being in force. What is the crime of the fact-finding members? Just that they wish to meet the victims. The incumbent DGP must be removed."

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Take this Matter With Home Minister Amit Shah: Senior Adv Swapnil Kothari

In an exclusive conversation with Republic, senior advocate Swapnil Kothari said, “Well I believe that the observations of the Calcutta High Court are very important. The Court has highlighted how Police has arrested Santu Pan without any prior notice and had made stringent observations against the Police for not following Sec 41 A of the CRPC. I urge Arnab to take up the issue with Union Home Minister Amit Shah during the Republic summit on March 7.”

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Mamata Suppressing the Voice of Sandeshkhali: Nisith Pramanik 

Shahjahan Sheikh along with TMC workers has established his own empire under the safeguard of West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and the local police. Mamata Banerjee, through dictatorship of Police and administration, is suppressing the voice of people of Sandeshkhali and it is not acceptable in a democracy. Arresting the members of fact-finding team shows the autocracy and dictatorship of Bengal Police and administration," said MoS Nisith Pramanik while talking to Republic TV. 

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BJP's Allegations Doesn't Matter: Sujit Bose

West Bengal Minister Sujit Bose told news agency ANI, "BJP keeps making allegations. It does not matter. We are doing our work... We want the voting to take place in peace..."

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They Were Trying to Break Barricades Unlawfully: Deputy Commissioner

However, Deputy Commissioner, Bhangar Division, Kolkata Police says "We were requesting them to not cross from here but they were trying to break the police barricade unlawfully. So, we had to arrest them under Preventive Sections...If there is information of a 'breach of peace', police can arrest them under preventive sections..."

6 Members Including Former Patna HC Justice Arrested:

As per the latest information, all six members of the fact-finding team have been arrested by the police and are being taken to Lalbazar police headquarters. The team has been arrested 52 km away from Sandeshkhali.

As per the information accessed by republic, the team has been arrested under Section 151.

TMC Has Been in Denial Since Beginning: BJP

Ahead of TMC's Partha Bhowmik visit today, state BJP President Sukanta Majumdar said, " The TMC has been in denial mode since the beginning... But later, the police of the TMC government recorded the statement of two women under section 164 in front of the magistrate. Why was the action under 164 was carried out if there was no rape?... Either Partha Bhowmik is lying or Mamata Banerjee and her police are lying... The case should be given to national investigation agencies otherwise the police will suppress the matter..."

TMC Delegate to Visit Sandeshkhali Again:

A TMC delegation will again visit the violence-torn Sandeshkhali on Sunday and will speak to villagers who have been protesting against alleged atrocities by TMC local leaders.

The delegation led by state irrigation minister Partha Bhowmick is expected to reach the restive area in the afternoon, a party spokesperson said.

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Fresh FIR Registered Against Shahjahan Sheikh:

A new FIR has been registered against Mamata backed don TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh. In the FIR it has been alleged that women of Sandeshkhali were called in the TMC Party office.

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Fact-Finding Team Detained: 

According to Republic's sources, the police are now detaining the committee with the logic of Section 144 and the officials are being pushed into PCR van.

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We want to meet victims of Sandeshkhali: Member of the Fact-Finding Committee

Member of the Fact-Finding Committee, OP Vyas after being stopped from going to Sandeshkhali told news agency ANI, “We are sitting here obediently to oppose as they (police) have stopped us illegally which is against our rights. We'll complain about it to the CM, Governor, Union HM and even to the PM. During Ram Navami, they did the same and stopped us because they were hiding something... I don't understand what kind of picture this state govt wants to portray before the world... Constitutional machinery is collapsed in the state. Unfortunately, Police are executing illegal orders and taking the law in hands. We want to meet victims of Sandeshkhali...”
 

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Published February 25th, 2024 at 10:56 IST