NCSC to visit Sandeshkhali on Feb 15, to probe sexual assault allegations

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Kolkata, Feb 13 (IANS) After the women in Sandeshkhali in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district spoke about the harassment and molestation by the absconding Trinamool Congress leader, Sheikh Shahjahan and his associates, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) has taken cognizance and will be visiting there on Thursday.

Earlier, a team of the National Commission for Women (NCW) visited the Basirhat sub-division in North 24 Parganas district under whose jurisdiction Sandeshkhali comes.

The NCSC will be interacting with the victims.

Already both NCW and NCSC have sought reports from the state government on the on-ground situation at Sandeshkhali.

State BJP president in West Bengal and the party Lok Sabha member Dr Sukanta Majumdar will stage a protest in Basirhat in front of the office of police superintendent. However, the district police have already imposed Section 144 in an area of 400 meters of radius around the police superintendent office and have cautioned strong action against the agitators if they assemble.

A huge police contingent, including personnel from the Rapid Action Force (RAF) and combat force, has been deployed there already.

In face of all round pressure, the state government has finally decided to form a special committee headed by a female Indian Police Service (IPS) officer in the rank of deputy inspector general (D.I.G.) of police to investigate with special focus on the aspect of complaints of the harassment and molestation of women.

The development comes as surprise for many since the representatives of the West Bengal Commission for Women after their visit to Sandeshkhali clearly stated that not a single woman of Sandeshkhali had complained to them about sexual harassment.

Sources aware of the development said the decision to form the committee was taken following increasing pressure on the state government in the matter, after media showed women in Sandeshkhali complaining to Governor C.V. Ananda Bose about sexual harassment.

Shahjahan, the accused mastermind in the attack on ED and CAPF personnel on January 5, has been absconding since the day of the attack. But since he went absconding, the local women at Sandeshkhali started hitting the streets complaining about their sexual harassment at the hands of Shahjahan and his associates.



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