NCW Chairperson visits Sandeshkhali, suggests imposition of President's rule in West Bengal


Tuesday, 20 February 2024 (11:18 IST)
Kolkata: National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Rekha Sharma sought imposition of President's rule in West Bengal to restore the rule of law in the state.
After visiting troubled Sandeshkhali, some 80 kms from here in North 24 Parganas district, Sharma alleged the state government was "stifling the voice of the people, while there was a failure on the part of the police to initiate action despite women being allegedly molested. Last week Schedule Caste Commission chairman Arun Haldar, who visited the restive area, also demanded imposition of Article 356.
The Article 356 of the Constitution of India is based on Section 93 of the Government of India Act, 1935. According to Article 356, President's Rule can be imposed on any state of India on the grounds of the failure of the constitutional machinery.
Sharma, who met the affected people of Sandeshkhali on Monday, is scheduled to call on President Draupadi Murmu on her return to New Delhi and submit her report of the restive region where some pockets were still under Section 144 of the Crminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Sharma said there was a situation of "fear and horror", particularly among the women, who are afraid to come out in the open because of intimidation and attacks. She said the police did not take action even after the hapless women called on the cops for saving them from the goons, who were roaming free.
Sharma also called on state governor CV Ananda Bose and briefed him about her visit and alleged horrific situation at Sandeshkhali, which comprises two blocks under the Basirhat sub- division.
Sharma said she called on the district police superintendent and submitted complaints with the complainants.
She alleged that the police failed to take not of complaints and instad tortured the people of Sandeshkhali.
"This time I got the registration of all the complaints with the police," Sharma said.
"I got nine such complaints separately and one complaint which was signed by 149 women together," she said.
Governor CV Ananda Bose later told reporters that he would do whatever was required from a governor regarding Sandeshkhali.
"My first priority is to restore peace there," the governor said "Whatever is needed must be done fearlessly. And you will see that in a few days," Bose said.

BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari can visit Sandeshkhali: Calcutta HC

The Calcutta high court has said that West Bengal Leader of the Opposition and BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari could visit areas of Sandeshkhali where prohibitory orders Section 144 CrPC has not been extended.
Calcutta High Court single bench judge Justice Kaushik Chanda while hearing a petition from Adhikari, permitted him and a few of his followers to visit the areas where prohibitory orders were not in force.
The court, however, warned the Nandigram MLA not to deliver any inflammatory speech there during his visit. Adhikari in his petition prayed that his attempt to visit there last week was prevented by the state police despite the court cancelling the prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) there.
Adhikari, reacting to the court order, said he would take two to three MLAs and proceed to Sandeshkhali on Tuesday.
He said the team would leave around 9 am and reach there within two hours and meet people to listen to their grievances and try to assure them about redressal.
"I'll meet family members of the fourteen-fifteen BJP leaders who have been arrested and call on those who have been tortured by the TMC leaders at Sandeshkhali." Adhikari said. Sandeshkhali, a remote block about 80 kms from Kolkata, is part of the Basirhat sub-division of North 24 Parganas district. The region, full of marshes and salt water lakes, has been in the news following sensational allegations about sexual assaults of women and forcible grabbing of land belonging to tribals by Trinamool-backed miscreants.

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