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Sandeshkhali violence: Police arrest ex-CPI(M) MLA on charges of instigating

IANS | February 11, 2024 03:39 PM

KOLKATA: The police on Sunday arrested the former CPI(M) legislator from Sandeshkhali Assembly constituency in West Benagl's North 24 Parganas district, Nirapada Sardar, on charges of instigating the common people to take law in the their own hands.

Sardar was arrested based on a complaint filed by local Trinamool Congress leader Shibu Hazra, whose poultry farm and farmhouse were gutted on Thursday by the agitated local people mainly led by women on Friday.

Hazra is known as a close confidante of absconding Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan, who is the accused mastermind of the attack on ED and CPAF sleuths at Sandeshkhali on January 5.

The main accusation against Sardar, as made by Hazra first and subsequently by the police, is that he took a lead role in assembling the local women in hitting the streets with bamboo sticks and sickles first and subsequently masterminding the attack on Hazra’s poultry farm and farmhouse on Friday.

However, Sardar has vehemently denied the charges and said that while the Hazra’s poultry farm and farmhouse took place on Friday, he was at a different place engaged in a party meeting. “I was not even in the locality on Thursday and Friday, when the agitation by the local people started, ” Sardar told media persons after the arrest.

As the news of Sardar’s arrests spread, the local CPI(M) supporters with party flags assembled in front of the police stations and started protesting.

Already Section 144 has been imposed over a large area in Sandeshkhali. Ban on the use of the Internet has also been imposed there for an indefinite period. Governor C.V. Ananda Bose and the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) have sought a report from the West Bengal government on the situation in Sandeshkhali.

The leader of the opposition in West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari has already threatened to lead a team of BJP legislators to Sandeshkhali.

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