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Updated February 12th, 2024 at 23:12 IST

Women Uprising in Sandeshkhali: Mamata Govt Cornered Over Mass Rape Charges Against TMC Leaders

"Husbands were told, 'You may be the husband but you have no right on your wife,'" said Union Minister Smriti Irani

Digital Desk
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North 24 Parganas: Angered over lands being grabbed and sexual exploitation of women, thousands of locals, including farmers and women, have stormed the streets of Sandeshkhali to demand the arrest of missing Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan and his associates. The locals have accused Shahjahan and his associates of committing unspeakable acts of violence. The protests broke out last week on Wednesday when locals clashed with TMC leaders during a rally. On Friday, locals targeted the farmhouse of a TMC leader and a close aide of Shahjahan and set it on fire. On Saturday night, Uttam Sardar, Shahjahan's close aide, was arrested in Sandeshkhali, hours after he was suspended from TMC for six years. As protests by local women intensified, prohibitory orders under Section 144 has been put in place.

On January 5, a team of Enforcement Directorate (ED) officers were attacked by a mob of nearly 1,000 people as they were carrying out a search in Shahjahan's residence in connection with the ration scam. Shahjahan, the mastermind behind the attack, was a key aide of now-arrested minister Jyotipriya Mullick. Shahjahan has been on the run since then. A month later, Sandeshkhali has, again, turned into a battleground. Even the role of the local police to contain the law-and-order situation has come under scanner. BJP observer in the Basirhat Lok Sabha constituency Vikas Singh has been arrested along with former CPM MLA Nirapada Sardar. After the arrest of Opposition leaders, locals have alleged that the police have not taken the real culprits into custody.

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Sandeshkhali Violence | LATEST UPDATES

Thousands of women have stormed the streets of Sandeshkhali to protest against Shahjahan and his goons over sexual exploitation. Image source: Republic

More Drama in Sandeshkhali as BJP Leader Arrested Again Outside Court Premises Post Bail

In a startling development, BJP leader Vikas Singh was re-arrested outside Basirhat Court premises, moments after he received bail. Earlier, Singh was arrested for allegedly sending provocative messages in the violence-hit areas even as his family maintained that he was innocent. However, he was arrested again as he stepped out of Basirhat court after getting bail.

Shahjahan's Link With Drugs Revealed

An interesting case has come to light after 40 kg heroin seized by DRI in 2022 has exposed Shah Jahan's connection. The name and address of the consignee was registered against “M/s Sariful Enterprises, Purba Khanda, Sandeshkhali”. The consignment had come all the way from Dubai to Kolkata. Sariful Molla, the owner of Sariful Enterprises, had been absconding when DRI raided the firm. On August 2, 2021, Sariful had received Rs 2 lakh in his SBI bank from Rintu Enterprise. Now, this payment by Rintu Enterprises was from an overdraft facility, which was subsequently settled by payments received on September, 21 from Sabina Enterprises, which is a prop concern of Shahjahan.

Now, the question arises -- whether drug money was used in the ration scam for which Shahjahan is wanted?

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Filled With Rage: Union Minister Smriti Irani Tells Republic On Sandeshkhali Horror

"Mamata Banerjee is deliberately pushing the envelope to challenge the constitution so that people like me break our 'constitutional maryada.' Also, why suspend the BJP MLAs who bring up the issue of Sandeshkhali in the Assembly?," asked Union Minister Smriti Irani while speaking to Republic's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami. “I am filled with deep rage, and this reminds me of the Nazi Germany, where Jews were identified…that is the state of Hindu women in Sandeshkhali,” she remarked. 

On Camera, Locals Say How Women Were Picked Up From Homes

Talking to Republic, several women in Sandeshkhali said that they were taken to party offices, raped and kept there for a night. “Our husbands were told that our women were the property of Shah Jahan's goons,” said a local woman. Another woman told Republic, "They would come on motorcycles and pick us up in the middle of the night. 

SC, ST Commission Writes to Bengal Chief Secretary

In a strongly worded letter to Bengal Chief Secretary, the constitutional body has demanded answer from the Bengal administration on the steps taken to curb the violence and protect victims in the affected areas.

After Cancelling Kerala Trip, Bengal Governor Visits Violence-Hit Areas in Sandeshkhali

After reaching Sandeshkhali, Governor CV Ananda told reporters, "All the sisters are my rakhi sisters. I will do whatever to protect their honour and dignity."

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee Breaks Her Silence Over Sandeshkhali Violence

Addressing an official gathering in Hooghly's Arambagh, Mamata said that the police have already arrested the ones against whom the people have been protesting. On the Governor's visit to violence-hit areas, Mamata said that the Governor is free to go anywhere. "I have sent the state women commissioner to Sandeshkhali. She has already given a report."

Union Minister Smriti Irani Says: Section 144 Imposed in Sandeshkhali is Like A Gag Order Against Women Speaking Out

Union Minister Smriti Irani on Monday made big allegation against the TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan, who is absconding after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) tried to raid his premises. “Husbands were told, you may be the husband but you have no right on your wife. You will not be spared unless TMC men are satisfied from your wife, TMC men would say,” said Smriti Irani. She further added, “Section 144 have been imposed in Sandeshkhali to prevent women from speaking out the horror they faced.”

NCW Takes Cognizance of Sandeshkhali

The systematic rape and exploitation of women in Sandeshkhali has caught the National Commission of Women's attention. Taking suo-motu cognisance, the NCW is currently probing online videos that have gone viral.
 

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Published February 12th, 2024 at 18:06 IST

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