Petition filed in Calcutta HC seeking CAPF deployment in Sandeshkhali

Kolkata, Feb 16 (IANS) A petition was filed at a division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Friday demanding the deployment of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in West Bengal’s Sandeshkhali which has been on the boil since last week following protests by local women alleging sexual harassment by the close associates of absconding Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan.

The division bench of Justice Joymalya Bagchi and Justice Gaurang Kanth has admitted the petition filed by Sangjukta Samnta, who is herself a counsel of the Calcutta High Court. The matter will come up for hearing on February 19.

The deployment of CAPF personnel at Sandeshkhali was earlier raised by BJP’s state unit in West Bengal since the time tension started mounting there. BJP’s claim was that the safety and security of the protesting women could not be ensured in the absence of CAPF deployment since the district police was allegedly giving protection to those accused by the women of sexual harassment.

The state unit of BJP has also accused a section of the local police of threatening some of the women protesters who narrated their experiences in the hands of the accused persons both in front of camera as well as to Governor C.V. Ananda Bose when the latter visited Sandeshkhali earlier this week.

Shahjahan, the accused mastermind behind the attack on ED and CAPF personnel at Sandeshkhali on January 5, has been absconding since then. On Thursday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee virtually gave a clean chit to Shahjahan after accusing the ED officials of going to Sandeshkhali to target him with the intention of creating tension there.



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