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Rise above politics, take strict action against Sandeshkhali culprits: Chhattisgarh CM tells Mamata

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RAIPUR, Feb 27: Chhattisgarh chief minister Vishnu Deo Sai on Tuesday wrote to his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee seeking strict action against culprits responsible for sexually assaulting tribal women and grabbing land in Sandeshkhali village in the eastern state.

Sai said putting the lives of tribal people in danger for “appeasement and vote bank politics” is intolerable, and appealed to the TMC chief to rise above political considerations for the sake of humanity.

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Sandeshkhali in West Bengal’s North 24-Parganas district has been tense with a large number of women in the locality accusing TMC strongman Shajahan Sheikh and his supporters of “land-grab and sexually assaulting” them under coercion.

The Chhattisgarh chief minister shared a picture of the letter written in Hindi on his X handle, saying that incidents like the brutal rape of more than 50 women from tribal communities and grabbing land of tribals in Sandeshkhali, West Bengal, are shameful.

“I am sending a letter to West Bengal Chief Minister Ms @MamataOfficial seeking stern action against the culprits involved in the crime. Hope Mamata ji will take cognisance of this letter and do justice to the victims of West Bengal”, he added.

Sai stated that incidents of “injustice done to mothers and sisters” that have come to light in West Bengal recently are heart-wrenching.

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“In Sandeshkhali area of your state (WB), incidents like brutal rape of more than 50 tribal women, grabbing land of thousands of tribals, and snatching the money given towards MNREGA wages have tarnished the humanity,” the Chhattisgarh chief minister wrote.

He dubbed the incidents in Sandeshkhali gruesome and horrifying citing reports given by the National Tribal Commission.

Sai highlighted the rich culture of West Bengal and its history of women empowerment.

“The movement for women’s empowerment started in the Bengal province and the history is witness to it. Swami Vivekananda, Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, and Dr Syama Prasad Mukherjee hailed from Bengal which is known to the world for its cultural richness.

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“In such an aware state, the civilized society can’t tolerate atrocities being committed against the deprived sections of the society,” it stated.

Sai hoped Banerjee would order immediate action and ensure strict punishment of the culprits.

“I urge you to take legal action against criminals like Shahjahan and Sirajuddin along with their political protectors. Hope you will rise above political considerations and take decisions in this matter related to the interest of humanity,” he added. (PTI)

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