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Delegation led by NCW chief to visit unrest-hit Sandeshkhali today

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New Delhi | February 19, 2024 1:24:15 PM IST
A delegation led by the National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Rekha Sharma on Monday left for Kolkata ahead of her Sandeshkhali visit.

West Bengal's Sandeshkhali area has been witnessing massive unrest for over 10 days as women protestors are seeking justice against alleged atrocities committed by TMC leader Sheikh Shajahan and his aides.

Speaking to ANI, the NCW chief said "A lot of injustice has been done to women, and I want to go to every street and talk to all the women and assure them that I stand with them so that they can have the courage to come forward and speak up."

During her visit, she will also meet the Governor of West Bengal and said she would meet President Droupadi Murmu after completing her Sandeshkhali visit, she added.

"Very disturbing news is coming from Sandeshkhali. My member went to investigate but could not meet many victims due to the police. So I am going. I have spoken to the victims, and I want them to get full justice. So I will go myself. I will meet the Directorate General of Police and the local police there. A lot of injustice has been done to women, and I want to go to every street and talk to all the women and assure them that I stand with them so that they can have the courage to come forward and speak up. I will also take action and meet the governor. When I come back, I would like to meet the President," National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Rekha Sharma told ANI.

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla on Monday targeted West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over the plight of women in the state's Sandeshkhali area, saying, "Today there might be Mamata Banerjee in the government of West Bengal but there is no Mamata left in this government."

Poonawalla also slammed Chief Minister Banerjee for her insensitive statements on Sandeshkhali.

"The manner in which the insulting, obnoxious, and very disheartening statements are coming from Mamta Banerjee one after the other on Sandeshkhali. First, she stood up in assembly and gave a clean shit to Shahjahan Sheikh, and she did victim shaming and victim blaming, saying that Sandeshkhali was the RSS's bunker, and now she has come out and said it was a fabricated incident," he said.

"No FIR is being filed and she has said whatever has been taken will be returned back. How will you return the 'izzat and abru' of the women? The Anusuchit Jati women who have been brutalized and sexually assaulted by Shahjahan Sheikh and his henchmen. And how will there be any kind of nyay (justice) if the police acts in a partisan manner? It does not stop Shahjahan Sheikh. It stops the karyakartas of BJP, Sukanta Majumdar and others. It brutalizes them," he said.

Referring to the BJP delegation, which was stopped from visiting Sandeshkhali, Poonawalla said, "What is the truth that you're trying to hide, madam?"

Recounting previous instances where the victims were shamed, the BJP spokesperson said "And this is the approach, not just in this case but in case after case, where the women are victim shamed. Whether it's the Park Street rape case... and the TMC Talibani mindset and culture, goons who are indulging in this kind of systematic sexual exploitation are being protected by Mamata Banerjee today," he said.

Further, Poonawalla targeted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and the INDIA bloc for their silence on the Sandeshkhali incident, saying "Why are they not speaking now?"

"The question is not just of Mamata Banerjee today. The question is that Rahul Gandhi and Congress party one section of Congress is protesting but Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vardha are silent. They go across the country on all issues of women's empowerment, women's rights. But why are they not speaking now? And the entire INDIA alliance, which talks about Mahila Adikar (women, right), is today eloquently silent and quiet," he said.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court will hear the plea seeking transfer of investigation and subsequent trial outside West Bengal in connection with alleged sexual assault on women living in Sandeshkhali village today (February 19).

The matter will be heard by a bench of justices BV Nagarathna and Augustine George Masih. The plea has been filed by Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, who has moved the Supreme Court to seek the transfer of the investigation and subsequent trial outside West Bengal in connection with the alleged sexual assault on women living in Sandeshkhali village. (ANI)

 
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