World News Today

India news, world news, sports news, entertainment news,

Parliament Panel Probe Against Bengal Officers On Hold In Sandeshkhali Case

A BJP delegation to Sandeshkhali was stopped by the cops last week. (File)

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court on Monday paused a Parliament panel’s proceedings against top officers of the West Bengal government that was triggered by allegations of misconduct by state BJP chief Sukanta Majumdar. The case is linked to the alleged atrocities against villagers in Sandeshkhali.

A bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud issued notices to the Lok Sabha Secretariat, West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar, and the Union Home Ministry, and sought their responses within four weeks.

Notices have also been issued to the West Bengal Director General of Police, the Chief Secretary, and the local District Magistrate.

The Privileges Committee of the Parliament had ordered the Chief Secretary, the DGP, the local District Magistrate, the Superintendent of Police, and the local police station in-charge to appear before it on Monday. The notice was issued after Mr Majumdar, an MP from Balurghat, filed a complaint alleging “misconduct, brutality and life-threatening injuries to him”.

Challenging the notice, Chief Secretary Bhagwati Prasad Gopalika, DGP Rajiv Kumar, and other officers told the court that political activity can never be a breach of privilege.

Referring to Mr Majumdar’s complaint that he was injured during a clash with the cops when his delegation tried to enter Sandeshkhali, senior advocate Kapil Sibal pointed out that 38 state police officials – including eight women cops – also sustained injuries.

The petition filed by the officers argued Mr Majumdar was demonstrating on the top of a police car when a woman member of his party pushed him and he fell on its bonnet. The police had no role in the incident which is evident in videos, they argued.

“How can this be a violation of privilege of the Parliament? The MP violated Section 144. He jumped on the bonnet of a car and was inciting violence. The complaint is based on a completely wrong story,” said Mr Sibal.

He also pointed out that the DGP and the Chief Secretary were not even present at the site.

The Lok Sabha secretariat’s counsel said the officers were not being accused of anything and it was a regular process to issue notices after an MP files a complaint.

The case in Sandeshkhali surrounds a Trinamool leader and local strongman Sheikh Sahajan, who and his aides have been accused of systematically exploiting the villagers and multiple counts of sexual assault. Two of his henchmen – Uttam Sardar and Shibu Prasad Hazra – have been arrested, but Shahjahan is still on the run.

A BJP delegation led by Mr Majumdar to the island was stopped by the cops on Wednesday.

Governor CV Ananda Bose, who has visited Sandeshkhali, said that “women in numbers” have told him they were harassed and intimidated, and that he has forwarded their written complaints to the state government.

“Women in numbers met me and told me about their grievance. They said they were molested, harassed, and intimidated, their husbands were beaten up,” Mr Bose told NDTV.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has accused the BJP of making a “mountain out of a molehill”. “Instead of peace, they are starting fires,” she has claimed.

The National Commission for Scheduled Castes, which visited Sandeshkhali last week, had recommended President’s Rule in the state amid violence and political tension.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *