Monday, April 15, 2024

BJP, CPI(M) visit Sandeshkhali, claim situation ‘horrific’


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KOLKATA, Feb 20: Following the intervention of the Calcutta High Court, the BJP and the CPI(M) on Tuesday visited the trouble-torn Sandeshkhali area, first by opposition parties since protests broke out there, and their leaders claimed that the situation was “horrific” and “emblematic of anarchy”.
The ruling Trinamool Congress, which has been vehemently opposing the visits by opposition parties, accused the saffron camp of trying to vitiate the atmosphere of the area, which was limping back to normalcy.
Meanwhile, the Calcutta High Court not only allowed Leader of Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP to visit the restive Sandeshkhali village but also observed that it is surprising that TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh, the main accused and “core” of the Sandeshkhali issue, has not been arrested by the state police so far.
The division bench presided by Chief Justice T S Sivagnanam refused to interfere with a single bench order that allowed Adhikari and another BJP MLA Shankar Ghosh to visit Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district.
CPI(M) politburo member Brinda Karat was also allowed to visit the area after being initially stopped by police.
Amid persistent tension in Sandeshkhali, where protests against alleged TMC-led atrocities and sexual harassment continue, a strong police presence persists as the area struggles to regain stability.
BJP leaders Adhikari and Ghosh were welcomed by locals, including women, after they reached Sandeshkhali by crossing the Kalindi River on a boat from Dhamakhali.
Drawing comparisons with the Nandigram anti-land acquisition movement during the Left Front regime, Adhikari claimed that the agitation by the tormented women of Sandeshkhali would lead to the downfall of the TMC government in the state in the days to come.
“The CPI(M)-led Left Front committed political hara-kiri in its handling of the anti-land acquisition movement in Nandigram and it led to its downfall. Similarly, the handling of Sandeshkhali protests will also turn out to be the biggest blunder for Mamata Banerjee’s government,” said Adhikari. The BJP leader was a close confidante of the TMC supremo during the days of the anti-land acquisition movement in Nandigram in 2007-08. He switched over to the BJP ahead of the 2021 assembly polls.
Meanwhile, CPI(M) politburo member Brinda Karat said, “Breach of peace occurred when women were called to the local TMC offices and subjected to sexual assault. Now it is a fight for justice.”
She was stopped at Dhamakhali ferry ghat by the police saying that they apprehended a breach of peace if she went to Sandeshkhali.
Adhikari was also stopped near the same spot by police officers who said prohibitory orders had been imposed in Sandeshkhali and the state government moved a division bench of the high court against a single bench order on Monday allowing Adhikari to visit the trouble-torn area.
Miffed over the development, Adhikari started a sit-in and said he would move to court soon, over violation of its order.
Later, the division bench refused to interfere with the single bench order paving the way for the BJP leader’s visit to the restive area. (PTI)


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