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Bengal: Suvendu, other BJP MLAs stopped from visiting restive Sandeshkhali

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BJP MLA & Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly,  Suvendu Adhikari

BJP MLA & Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari (File image)

Kolkata: Senior BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari and several other MLAs of the party were stopped from visiting the unrest-hit Sandeshkhali area on Monday afternoon, with the police citing prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC clamped in the area.

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Earlier in the day, six BJP legislators including Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari were suspended from the West Bengal Assembly for staging protests in the House over unrest in Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district.

Post-suspension, Adhikari along with other BJP MLAs boarded a bus to go and meet locals of Sandeshkhali, who have alleged sexual harassment by absconding TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh and his supporters.

“The authorities stopped us at Basanti Highway citing prohibitory orders there and a letter by the Basirhat police superintendent claiming that my visit to Sandeshkhali might lead to law and order problems in the area,” Adhikari said.

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“This is absurd. How can I be stopped 65 km away from Sandeshkhali citing law and order problems? We condemn this attempt by the state government to suppress the truth,” he said.

A large number of women in Sandeshkhali held protests in the last few days, alleging that local TMC leader Sheikh Shajahan and his "gang" captured swathes of land by force, besides sexually harassing them.

They demanded the arrest of Shajahan who has been absconding since last month after a team of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that went to raid his house in an alleged ration scam was attacked by a mob.

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