National Commission for ST members visits Sandeshkhali to make on-spot study

Insight Online News

Kolkata, Feb 22 : A four-member team of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) left for Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas on Thursday to make an on-the-spot study of the situation regarding the alleged torture of women and forcible land acquisition of the tribal people, official sources said.

The team, headed by NCST vice-chairman Ananta Naik, is expected to talk to the local people, especially the women, who allegedly narrated their grievances to several central teams and politicians and sought immediate redressal and arrest of the alleged mastermind, Sahjahan Sheikh, a block-level TMC leader.

The TMC strongman has been evading arrest since January 5 after being accused of orchestrating attacks on the officials’ of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and CRPF jawans when the central agencies went to search his property in connection with the alleged ration (PDS) scam, in which former state food minister Jyotipriya Mallick was arrested.

Two other accused, both TMC leaders—Shibupada Hazra and Uttam Sardar were arrested by the state police for their involvement in the crimes.

The NCST has sought reports from state Chief Secretary BP Gopalika and Director General of Police Rajeev Kumar on Sandeshkhali.

The NCST demanded a comprehensive report on Sandeshkhali episodes within the next 72 hours, failing which both officials will have to personally appear in front of the commission in New Delhi.

The commission also demanded details of the action taken by the state government over complaints of sexual harassment of women.

Sources said the Chief Secretary and the DGP may visit Sandeshkhali on Thursday.

The DGP has already visited there, some 74 km south-east of Kolkata.

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