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Bengal BJP Chief Arrested, Released In Sandeshkhali Over Protest Demanding TMC Leaders Arrest


New Delhi: The West Bengal Police detained and later released the state BJP president Sukanta Majumdar on Thursday after he staged a protest demanding the arrest of TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh in the violence-affected Sandeshkhali area of North 24 Parganas district. The BJP leader was taken into custody by the police while he was protesting in front of a police station in Sandeshkhali. After  his release, Majumdar said that the police forcefully picked me up and arrested and detained me. The BJP state chief alleged that the “police lifted them forcefully”. “I was arrested, then made to sign a bail bond and later released. We were arrested for sitting on a dharna here. We will continue to raise our voices and protest until our workers are allowed to visit Sandeshkhali,” he added.

“We were sitting on a protest and they were saying that we were breaking 144. This partial 144 will not work. We will have to go to court if needed. There was a fight with our security forces. The media was stopped and cameras were turned off. The voice of the opposition is being suppressed. The police can fight as much as they want. We will sit here,” the Bengal BJP chief added. 

Majumdar had received permission from the police to visit the troubled area in Sandeshkhali on Thursday. He was accompanied by a large number of security personnel and interacted with the women of Sandeshkhali who have been agitating against the alleged atrocities committed by the TMC leader and his associates. Earlier in the day, Majumdar had also visited the jailed party workers in the Basirhat area of the district.

Speaking to news agency ANI, Majumdar said that he was not allowed to go inside the jail and meet the party workers. “They (jail administration) didn’t permit me to go inside. I will meet them (party workers) from outside just like a common family,” he said.

He also said that he had given a written request to meet Vikas Singh and 11 other party workers who he claimed were innocent and had done nothing wrong. “They (administration) said that only local MP is allowed to meet. I asked them to show me the Act where it is written. As an MP, it is my legal right to visit the jail. I am here till the jailer’s sense prevails, but it seems those who are on the other side of the call aren’t allowing it. For Mamata Banerjee, her will is the constitution,” he said.

Majumdar also raised questions about why the TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan had not been arrested yet and said that he wanted to ask the DGP about it. He said that the ST Commission must visit the area as the majority of the victims of the Sandeshkhali violence were STs.

On Monday, Majumdar had announced that the BJP would hold a 72-hour-long protest in the coming days demanding the arrest of Sheikh Shahjahan amid the unrest in the state over the Sandeshkhali issue.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Majumdar said, “We will hold a minimum 72-hour long protest in the coming days demanding the arrest of Sheikh Shahjahan. The probable day of protest is February 22.”

He also criticized Mamata Banerjee for accusing the BJP of instigating violence in the state and said that she should be more sensitive towards the women in the state and refrain from making such statements.

SC Stays Privileges Committee Proceedings

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Monday stayed the Lok Sabha Privileges Committee proceedings against West Bengal senior officials in the matter relating to the Sandeshkhali protest.

The Privileges Committee notice came on a complaint filed by BJP Member of Parliament Sukanta Majumdar for alleged misconduct, brutality, and causing life-threatening injuries by the police officials and district administration of Basirhat, North 24 Parganas District of West Bengal.

West Bengal’s Sandeshkhali area has been witnessing massive unrest for over 10 days as women protestors are seeking justice against alleged atrocities committed by TMC leader Sheikh Shajahan and his aides.


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