Monday, March 4, 2024
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HomeIndia'They can't be spectators': Smriti Irani slams Mamata Banerjee over Sandeshkhali

‘They can’t be spectators’: Smriti Irani slams Mamata Banerjee over Sandeshkhali


Calcutta:

Union Minister Smriti Irani today criticized the Mamata Banerjee government over allegations by women in Sandeshkhali in south Bengal and declared that “young married Hindu women” are being attacked by Trinamool Congress goons. The state has been in the eye of a political storm over allegations by women, who accused a local Trinamool leader of systematic sexual exploitation. The man in question, Zilla Parishad member Sheikh Shajahan, also accused of land grabbing, is on the run. He is also wanted by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with an alleged PDS scam.

Sandeshkhali, an island in the Sundarbans near the border with Bangladesh, has been placed under prohibitory orders banning large gatherings.

“Young married Hindu women are being deliberately targeted,” Ms Irani alleged, reading what she said was the female version of events told to local media.

That Mamata Banerjee “will now allow her men to choose young married Hindu girls to be raped night after night in the TMC office cannot be expressed in mere words. Can we, as citizens, be mute spectators?” she said.

The Trinamool responded sharply. Party leader and Bengal Finance Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya told reporters: “We condemn all rapes, but what about Bilkis Bano’s case? Why hasn’t she said anything? Does rape have colour?” Can you add color and say this has been done because of division? On religion? You actually want to provoke people there and create riots. That is what the BJP and CPM are doing there. They got caught with the hands in the act and that’s why they were arrested yesterday.

“When she speaks as a woman and she herself has said that there is no politics and that everything must be seen with a human face. If so, why doesn’t she also speak about these issues? She is politicizing everything.” Mrs. Bhattacharya added.

In recent days, large numbers of women in Sandeshkhali, armed with sticks and brooms, have been staging protests, alleging that Sheikh Shajahan and his “gang” have forcibly captured tracts of land and are sexually exploiting them.

In an unverified video by NDTV, which is being widely circulated online, a woman alleged that they were dragged to the Trinamool office, kept overnight and sexually assaulted.

The women have demanded the arrest of Sheikh Shajahan, who has been on the run since an Enforcement Directorate team went to raid his house last month in connection with an alleged ration scam. The team was attacked by a mob.

Ms. Irani said the agency gave a statement to the police that three of the officials were injured in the stone pelting that took place in Sandeshkhali.

Earlier today, police stopped BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari and other party MLAs from visiting the area, citing the prohibitory orders.

Governor CV Ananda Bose later visited Sandeshkhali, after which he described the situation as “appalling”. “What I saw was frightening, shocking, heartbreaking to my senses. I saw something I should have never seen, I heard many things I should never have heard. I cannot believe this could happen in the land of Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore,” Bose said. he told reporters after taking stock of the situation.

Mamata Banerjee welcomed her visit and told reporters today that those responsible for the violence “have been arrested”.

“Anyone can go to Sandeshkhali. We have no problem with that. We have already sent the state women’s commission team there. They returned and submitted a report. Those who instigated the violence have been arrested. The situation is being closely monitored and the necessary measures are being taken,” he told reporters.



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