Updated February 15th, 2024 at 10:33 IST

BJP Forms High-level Committee to Inquire Into Sandeshkhali Sexual Harassment Incidents

Sandeshkhali violence: Union Minister Annapurna Devi has been named as the convenor of the high-level committee.

Reported by: Digital Desk
The six-member panel, composed of Union Ministers and MPs, will visit Sandeshkhali to inquire about the alleged incidents. | Image:ANI
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New Delhi: BJP national president JP Nadda has constituted a high-level committee to inquire about the alleged incidents of sexual harassment and violence against women in Sandeshkhali in West Bengal's North Pargana district. The six-member panel, composed of Union Ministers and MPs, will visit Sandeshkhali on Friday to inquire about the alleged incidents.

Union Minister Annapurna Devi has been named as the convenor of the high-level committee. Other members of the panel are Pratima Bhowmik, BJP MPs Sunita Duggal, Kavita Patidar, Sangeeta Yadav, and Brijlal.

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They have been directed to visit the incident site, take stock of the situation, talk to the victims, and submit their report to BJP Party President JP Nadda. Nadda, in the notification, said that the alleged incidents are "heart-wrenching." He further said that the incidents of harassment of women and hooliganism are "happening continuously in West Bengal" while the administration there remains a "mute spectator."

"Law and order have collapsed in the entire state," he added. Tension simmered in the Sandeshkhali area of North 24 Parganas district's Basirhat subdivision on Tuesday during a protest by BJP workers led by state party president Sukanta Majumder against the alleged sexual harassment of women. Women in Sandeshkhali have been agitating for the last few days over alleged atrocities committed against them by TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh and his aides. Majumdar sustained injuries during the police lathicharge as a scuffle broke out between the police and party workers.

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The West Bengal government has reimposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in and around 500 metres of area in seven-gram panchayats, including Sandeshkhali . Sector 144 has been imposed in the area till February 19 to maintain law and order in view of the agitation by the BJP over allegations of sexual harassment by women in Sandeshkhali block. The political storm over the events at Bengal's Sandeshkhali sparked violence in another part of the state on Tuesday. BJP national spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia slammed the West Bengal government on Wednesday over allegations of sexual harassment by women in Sandeshkhali block, and said that CM Mamata Banerjee is acting as a silent spectator. Addressing a press conference, Bhatia said that in West Bengal the law of the "anarchy ruler Mamata Banerjee prevails."

"West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee is acting as a silent spectator. This is a matter of concern. This press conference highlights the lawlessness that prevails in West Bengal, where it is clear to every citizen that the rule of law does not prevail or exist, rather the law of the anarchy ruler Mamata Banerjee prevails," he said, "When the perpetrator of the crime happens to be a TMC goon, the chief minister of the state doesn't even care to uphold the dignity of the women of the state, especially Hindu women, being targeted by the goons of Sheikh Shahjahan, the absconder," he added. Coming down heavily on the Chief Minister, the BJP leader alleged that West Bengal has turned into a state run by a government of rapists. "It will not be wrong to say that West Bengal has turned into a state where there is a government run by the rapist, of the rapist, for the rapist. Instead of standing in support of the victims, Mamata Banerjee is supporting the rapist," Bhatia said.

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Bharatiya Janata Party IT cell head Amit Malviya took to X and slammed the West Bengal Police, accusing it of 'pleasing' Mamata Banerjee.

"West Bengal police have crossed all limits. They have violated every rule in the book to please Mamata Banerjee, who is evil, and hasn't stopped using rape and torture of Hindu women in Sandeskhali, for her politics," he said. He further said that the party will not allow "women in West Bengal to become objects of lust for Mamata Banerjee's criminal syndicate." 

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"Let Mamata Banerjee and the WB Police know that they can't crush the BJP's movement for justice for women in Sandeshkhali. We won't allow women in West Bengal to become objects of lust for Mamata Banerjee's criminal syndicate. The fight will continue," he added. The Trinamool Congress has, however, blamed the BJP for trying to vitiate the atmosphere in Sandeshkhali. "The only motive of the BJP was to create issues and indulge in hooliganism while going to Sandeshkhali or reaching near the place. Stone pelting ensued, and people were injured there. They (BJP) say that women must be respected...Smriti Irani made instigating statements. The TMC condemns the conduct of the BJP, under the leadership of Sukanta Majumdar," TMC Spokesperson Sashi Panja said. 

(With ANI inputs)
 

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Published February 15th, 2024 at 07:03 IST