TMC Not Shielding Absconding Party Leader Shajahan Sheikh: Abhishek – News18

Published By: Pragati Pal

Last Updated: February 26, 2024, 00:07 IST

Kolkata [Calcutta], India

TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee also claimed that a few outsiders were fomenting trouble and creating disturbances in the region ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. (File Image )

TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee also claimed that a few outsiders were fomenting trouble and creating disturbances in the region ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. (File Image )

The TMC is not shielding Shajahan Sheikh… We have a zero-tolerance policy against anyone committing any crime, TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee said

TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee on Sunday asserted that his party is not shielding its absconding leader Shajahan Sheikh, who has been accused of sexual abuse and land grab by villagers in West Bengal’s restive Sandeshkhali.

He also claimed that a few outsiders were fomenting trouble and creating disturbances in the region ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

The TMC is not shielding Shajahan Sheikh… We have a zero-tolerance policy against anyone committing any crime, Banerjee said in Budge Budge at a programme. Opposition parties in the state have accused the ruling Trinamool Congress of shielding Sheikh.

The riverine Sandeshkhali area in North 24 Parganas district has been on the boil for more than a month, with protests against Sheikh and his supporters over allegations of land grab and sexual abuse of locals. Sheikh has been absconding since an ED team was attacked by a mob during raids at his residence in Sandeshkhali on January 5.

Claiming that the state police cannot arrest Sheikh as the ED is investigating cases against him in an alleged ration scam, Banerjee told reporters, “Had it not been so, how come TMC leaders like Uttam Sardar and Sibu Hazra could be arrested by police, and removed from the party on basis of FIRs lodged against them?”

Sardar and Hazra were named in police complaints of alleged land grab and sexual harassment of women in Sandeshkhali. “If curbs on state investigating agencies are lifted… you will see a different outcome, as the party will not protect anyone if found guilty, the Diamond Harbour MP said.

He also said that swift action was taken against TMC heavyweights like Partha Chatterjee and Jyotipriya Mallick following allegations of corruption against them. But, the BJP is yet to take any action against tainted leaders like Suvendu Adhikari,” he claimed.

Coming down heavily on Adhikari and other state BJP leaders, Banerjee said, “They are trying to foment trouble in Bengal by flagging the Sandeshkhali incident. They want to keep the pot boiling ahead of the prime minister’s visit to the state (next month).” “A few outsiders, who are like spring birds, come in hordes to Bengal before the elections. Their only intent is to create disturbances, he said, without taking names. The TMC national general secretary also said it was baffling that neither the CPI(M) nor the BJP ever made any mention about atrocities on women and villagers of Sandeshkhali in the past, though the assembly seat was represented by leaders of the communist party till 2016. Banerjee said his party will organise a rally in Sandeshkhali after the situation normalises in the area. He also said the TMC will hold a massive public meeting Janagarjan’ at the Brigade Parade Ground on March 10, which will put the scanner on the plight of people, whose money has been illegally withheld by the BJP-led central government (release of MGNREGA funds due to the state). We have the Brigade rally in 15 days. If the BJP has guts, let it call a counter rally on March 12, Banerjee said.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)