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Mamata expresses regret over Sandeshkhali, slams BJP

For the first time since the women of Sandeshkhali rose in protest against the sexual harassment, torture, and land-grab by local Trinamool Congress leaders, West Bengal Chief Minister and party supremo Mamata Banerjee today expressed regret about the happenings in the small riverine island bordering Bangladesh. She had gone to address an election meeting in […]

For the first time since the women of Sandeshkhali rose in protest against the sexual harassment, torture, and land-grab by local Trinamool Congress leaders, West Bengal Chief Minister and party supremo Mamata Banerjee today expressed regret about the happenings in the small riverine island bordering Bangladesh. She had gone to address an election meeting in Basirhat Lok Sabha constituency of which Sandeshkhali is a part.
The women of Sandeshkhali had risen in protest on February 8 against the illegal activities of Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan and his cohorts. Mamata Banerjee has not visited the area ever since the protests broke out.
“I am sorry for whatever has happened to the women of Sandeshkhali and how they have been humiliated. I express my sadness from the core of my heart. Nobody should dare to play with the dignity of women,” Banerjee said.
At the same time, she also pointed fingers at the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party asserting that the BJP should not have played with the dignity of women in the trouble-torn area as the “saffron camp’s conspiracy now stands exposed”.
Banerjee’s remarks come in the backdrop of multiple purported videos surfacing on social media which claimed that a local BJP leader, under directions from Leader of the Opposition and bitter Mamata critic, Suvendu Adhikari, had made several women of Sandeshkhali sign blank papers, which were later filled up as complaints of sexual assault against Trinamool Congress leaders. The local leader Gangadhar Koyal was seen in the sting videos saying that Adhikari had planned and provided the money to fund the operation.
Addressing the rally in Basirhat, Banerjee slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for talking to Sandeshkhali protester and BJP candidate Rekha Patra over the phone, alleging that the country has the “worst track record in terms of women’s safety and security under the BJP rule”.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi can call up anyone he wants. He had called up someone (Rekha Patra) from the area. But he should not forget the dismal track record of the BJP Government regarding women’s safety and security in the country. The BJP-ruled State of Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of cases of assault on women,” she added.

She also said: “People would have never understood how the BJP had hatched the conspiracy, had the videos not surfaced.”

The Trinamool Congress supremo said she would soon visit the Sandeshkhali region. “As soon as our candidate Haji Nurul wins Basirhat, my first visit will be to Sandeshkhali within a few days. I will go to meet the people there,” she said.

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