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Sandeshkhali violence: BJP workers defy Section 144, clash with police

A clash broke out between the police and workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the latter marched towards the Superintendent of Police (SP) office in Basirhat in the wake of alleged systemic sexual assault on women in North 24 Parganas’ Sandeshkhali.

Visuals shared on social media showed the police baton-charging the workers of the party. (PTI)

Visuals showed the police baton-charging the workers of the party. Sandeshkhali is under the purview of the Basirhat police district.

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Earlier today, prohibitory orders were clamped in the vicinity of the SP’s office in West Bengal’s Basirhat in view of the proposed agitation by the BJP, reported PTI.

The orders were enforced under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) from 6 am to 6 pm to maintain law and order, an unnamed official quoted by the agency said.

The BJP had announced its leaders will gherao the SP’s office on Tuesday in protest against the situation in Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district.

Local women in Sandeshkhali have been demanding the arrest of absconding TMC leader Sheikh Shajahan, who has been on the run since the January 5 attack on Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials. They were attacked during a raid at Shahjahan’s residence in connection with an alleged public distribution system (PDS) scam.

The women claim that Sheikh and his “gang” sexually harass women in the area and have captured swathes of land by force.

Meanwhile, West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar said that a delegation of the party will travel to Basirhat by train.

“We will reach Basirhat, meet the SP and question him on the Sandeshkhali development. We shall demand punishment for the culprits,” he told reporters at Hridaypur railway station, according to PTI. “We could have broken the barricades put up by the police, but our party will not do it… we don’t want to inconvenience the locals,” Majumdar said.

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