Bengal Cops On Sandeshkhali Sexual Violence Reports

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'Wilful Misinformation': Bengal Cops On Sandeshkhali Sexual Violence Reports

The Trinamool Congress has denied reports of sexual violence

Sandeshkhali:

The West Bengal Police have denied allegations of sexual violence against women in Sandeshkhali, calling it “wilful misinformation”. 

On Monday, Union Minister Smriti Irani had alleged women in south Bengal’s Sandeshkhali were being sexually assaulted, and declared “young Hindu married women” were being targeted by Trinamool Congress goons. After BJP MLAs were suspended by the Speaker, West Bengal’s Leader of Opposition had told NDTV, “We BJP MLAs raised our voice against the atrocities, physical torture, humiliation and rape against women, especially Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe women in Sandeshkhali area. For that reason they suspended six BJP MLAs. They are supporting rapists.” 

In a post on social media platform X, the West Bengal Police said, “Wilful misinformation is being spread by a section of the media to mislead the people about the events in Sandeshkhali.”

“It is reiterated that no allegations of sexual torture of women have so far been received during the enquiries since conducted by the State Women’s Commission, an all-women 10-member fact-finding team led by DIG CID, and also the district police,” the police added. 

The police also pointed to the visit of the National Women’s Commission (NCW) team to Sandeshkhali, an area in the North 24 Parganas. “The representatives of the NCW, following a recent visit to Sandeshkhali, have also corroborated this, saying that they did not receive any complaints of sexual torture against local women during their enquiry,” the police said. 

The police have said that if such complaints are received it will register cases and investigate. “It is reiterated that all allegations and complaints received will be duly enquired into and lawful action will be initiated.”

“It is also being made unequivocally clear that strict legal action will be initiated against sections of the media for spreading unfounded misinformation,” the police added in the post. 

Earlier, the Trinamool Congress had also denied reports of sexual violence. The Trinamool hit back at the BJP saying they want to create trouble as peace is returning to the area. 

Cabinet Minister in West Bengal, Shashi Panja, told reporters, “There is a competition between BJP leaders over who is a bigger leader and who can reach Sandeshkhali. Because of this competition they attempted to reach Sandeshkhali again. Yesterday also they protested. Now they say he has fainted. He has been brought to Kolkata for treatment.”

“We are saying that the situation is returning to normal and today National Women’s Commission visited and they are also saying no such sexual harassment of women has happened. What does Sukanta Majumdar want to hear after this?” Shashi Panja added. 

NDTV visited Sandeshkhali on Wednesday and spoke to some women who have held protests against local Trinamool strongman Sheikh Shahjahan’s aides. While NDTV did not find any women who had a complaint of rape or sexual violence, most of them complained of harassment at the hands of Sheikh Shahjahan’s henchmen. A common complaint of the women was being called to the party office at odd hours and threats if the women refused to come late at night.

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