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BJP slams Mamata over Sandeshkhali incident, questions Rahul Gandhi's 'silence'

'Mamata Banerjee's conscience seems to be nonexistent; as a woman Chief minister, she is using police power to suppress women, putting their dignity at stake,' said Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Last Updated 21 February 2024, 14:13 IST

New Delhi: Raising the heat on Sandeshkhali protests in West Bengal, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday accused the Mamata Banerjee government of trying to scuttle investigation.

Raising the issue of alleged sexual harassment of women in Sadeshkhali in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district, senior BJP leader and former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad alleged that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is prioritising saving her political credibility over the honour of women.

“Why is a woman CM risking the honour of women to save her political reputation? Where is her conscience,” Prasad asked during a briefing at the party headquarters on Wednesday.

“Mamata Banerjee's conscience seems to be nonexistent; as a woman Chief minister, she is using police power to suppress women, putting their dignity at stake.”

Prasad said that the Calcutta High Court has “emphasised the severity of the situation” in Sandeshkhali.

“The court questioned how a single individual, Shahjahan Shiekh, could hold the entire state to ransom. It raised concerns about his non-arrest despite police and ED raids, which arguably fueled the problem. The subsequent reports of assaults, humiliations, and sexual violence against women reflect poorly on our society and democracy,” Prasad said. 

He further alleged that Banerjee, who once bravely fought against the atrocities of the CPM, has indicated a stark change in the current situation. “With police oppression under her administration now seemingly surpassing the CPM era,” he charged. 

He also slammed a special investigation team set up by the chief minister to probe into the allegations, charging that it is repeatedly asking the same questions to the victims and humiliating them to break their morale. “Is the SIT genuinely seeking information or further insulting the affected individuals, potentially damaging their morale,” he said.

Prasad condemned the Congress top brass, the AAP, Left parties and other constituents of the I.N.D.I.A. bloc for not speaking out on the Sandeshkhali issue.

“Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, known for speaking on various issues, remains silent. An incident occurred in Chandigarh, and BJP respects the Supreme Court's decision, with everyone echoing the matter. While the opposition discusses Chandigarh’s mayoral election issue, the same people remain silent on the atrocities in Sandeshkhali, where the dignity of mothers, daughters, and sisters is being violated," he said.

With input from PTI

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(Published 21 February 2024, 14:13 IST)

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