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Fresh protests rock Sandeshkhali, DGP Rajeev Kumar rush to the spot

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Sandeshkhali

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Kolkata: As fresh protests rocked parts of trouble-torn Sandeshkhali in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district on Friday morning, West Bengal DGP Rajeev Kumar rushed to the spot and pledged stern action against the culprits.

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On Friday morning, enraged locals set fire to properties belonging to TMC leaders accused of sexual abuse of women and forcible land grabbing in the area. The houses of local TMC leaders were also ransacked by the mob.

Armed with sticks, they set ablaze thatched structures near a fishing yard in Belmajur area of Sandeshkhali, venting their fury against the elusive TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh and his brother Siraj. The torched structure, it was revealed, belonged to Siraj.

"The police for years did nothing. That is why we are doing everything to get back our land and honour", a protester said.

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The police later entered the area and tried to pacify the protesters.

In the afternoon, Kumar rushed to the troubled riverine area and spoke to the locals.

"You register your complaint. We will take action. We will set up a police camp here. But I will request all of you please don't take up law in your hands," Kumar told locals.

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While speaking to reporters, Kumar said, "Police will take stern action. We will establish a rule of law in the area".

The DGP said strict action will be taken against anyone taking the law into their hands.

He said that the police and the administration had already started the process of returning land of villagers, which had been grabbed.

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The DGP had earlier visited Sandeshkhali on Wednesday and held meetings with police officials there. He stayed there overnight before returning to Kolkata on Thursday.

The fresh protests came a day after the area witnessed protests and arson in parts of Sandeshkhali, fueled by allegations against local TMC leaders for sexual abuse and forcible land grabbing..

The unrest in Sandeshkhali stems from accusations against TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh and his supporters of land grabbing and sexual assault, with Shahjahan evading authorities since a mob attack on Enforcement Directorate officials on January 5.

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