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Sandeshkhali violence: Plea in Supreme Court demands CBI/SIT probe, disciplinary action against guilty police officials

A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking an investigation into the violence that took place recently in the Sandeshkhali area of West Bengal by either a Special Investigation Team (SIT) or the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Filed by Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, the petition further demanded shifting of the case outside the state of West Bengal, to ensure a fair and impartial probe into the February 13 incident.

Further, the plea demanded setting up of an Expert Committee comprising three judges of the Supreme Court, on the lines of the Committee set up to oversee the humanitarian aspects in Manipur violence cases.

The petition also sought compensation for the victims as well as disciplinary action against the guilty police officials.

It further asked for the deployment of para-military personnel to protect the witnesses.

As per the petition, AITC leader Shahjahan Sheikh, with the help of his supporters, exercised a considerable hold over the Sandeshkhali area of West Bengal.

It mentioned the January 5 incident, in which an Enforcement Directorate team that had gone to the Sandeshkhali area to investigate Sheikh in the PDS scam case, was allegedly attacked by the supporters of the Trinamool leader.

Three of the ED team members were seriously injured in the incident, noted the petition, adding that police failed to register the complaint of a woman, who alleged Sheikh of sexually harassing her.

The petition alleged that the local police were hands-in-glove with the ruling party and instead of registering an FIR against Sheikh, they were reportedly filing false cases against the woman and her relatives.

The state police were further accused of threatening the victim and trying to stop her from narrating the incident to anyone.

The petition mentioned that the National Commission for Women had recently sent a team to Sandeshkhali to investigate the allegations.

As per the fact-finding report of NCW, women were living in widespread fear in Sandeshkhali area, facing systematic abuse by both police officers and members of the Trinamool Congress, noted the petition.

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