Sandeshkhali tribals tortured for voting against TMC: NCST team : The Tribune India

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Sandeshkhali tribals tortured for voting against TMC: NCST team

Sandeshkhali tribals tortured for voting against TMC: NCST team

BJP Mahila Morcha activists organise a candlelight march over Sandeshkhali incidents, in Kolkata on Saturday. PTI



PTI

New Delhi, February 24

TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan and his associates, accused of land grab and sexual assault in West Bengal’s Sandeshkhali, would forcibly take MNREGA wages from poor tribal families and torture them for voting against the party, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) has learned.

Complainants told a three-member NCST team, led by its Vice-Chairperson Ananta Nayak, that the West Bengal Police allegedly “protected” Shahjahan and his aides.

The probe team is back in Delhi and it is in the process of filing a report. Nayak said the panel received over 50 complaints of sexual harassment of tribal women and land grab by Shahjahan and his associates.

Sandeshkhali has been on the boil for over a month with protests against Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Shahjahan, who is absconding, and his supporters.

“The NCST team learned that Shahjahan would instruct poor tribal people to give him their MNREGA earnings. And in case they had already exhausted that, he would ask them to borrow money from lenders and give it to him,” Nayak said.

The complainants, most of them Hindus, told the probe team that the accused and his associates tortured people who voted for other parties in elections, Nayak said.

The panel learned that Shahjahan and his associates would ask local women to come for meetings late at night, torturing the family members of those who did not comply with his demands, he said.

Meanwhile, West Bengal ministers Sujit Bose and Partha Bhowmick visited Sandeshkhali to take stock of the situation, while a CPM delegation was prevented from venturing into interior areas of the region. A team of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) also visited the area for the second consecutive day.

#West Bengal


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