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Governor Versus Trinamool On Poll-Related Violence In Sandeshkhali

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Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose has demanded a report from the ruling Trinamool Congress on the violence in Sandeshkhali on poll day. But he was met with a rebuff. Senior party leader Shashi Panja said the Governor should "first explain what is the status of the sexual harassment probe against him".

The letter posted on X, formerly Twitter, from Raj Bhavan, mentioned that the Governor has kept a "close watch on the evolving situation during the last phase of the elections in the state".

"Such ghastly incidents of violence in Sandeshkhali, particularly on women, are the manifestations of the frustration which is faced by those who control the police in the State. Any expectation that the people's anger against injustices by the misguided authorities can be crushed by violence is not acceptable," read the letter from the Governor, who was among the first to visit Sandeshkhali after reports of sexual harassment of women by a local leader of the Trinamool Congress.

pic.twitter.com/E31NV82S2y

— Raj Bhavan Kolkata (@BengalGovernor) June 1, 2024

In February, Sandeshkhali, an island in the Sundarbans, erupted, with a group of people, mostly women, holding massive protest marches against the local Trinamool leader Sheikh Shahjahan, accusing him of land grabbing and sexual exploitation.

The massive political row that followed made it one of the key election issues.

Events on the ground, though, went through multiple twists and turns, the last of which involved a viral video that claimed that some women were bribed by a BJP leader who wanted them to claim that they had been raped.

On Saturday, as the seventh and the last phase of election was in progress, clashes broke out between supporters of the BJP and Trinamool in Sandeshkhali over allegations of electoral malpractices. BJP candidate Rekha Patra alleged that Trinamool goons stopped people from casting their votes. The Trinamool accused her and BJP goons of trying to vitiate the poll atmosphere.

The two groups came to blows on the Basanti Express highway, and the police used batons and tear gas to restore calm.

Less than 24 hours later, Sandeshkhali witnessed another round of skirmishes between women and the police.

Earlier today, women in Agarhati village got involved in a scuffle with the Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel, fell tree trunks, and blocked roads when the police went in search of a few persons who allegedly attacked them on Saturday.

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