Sandeshkhali block in West Bengal on the boil, villagers set fire to properties of Trinamool leaders

Eight persons were detained in connection with the violence on February 9 after angry villagers armed with sticks and batons took to the streets in Sandeshkhali

Updated - February 10, 2024 12:08 pm IST

Published - February 10, 2024 11:51 am IST - Kolkata

Security personnel deplyed during ED officers’ raid at TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh’s home at Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district, Wednesday on 2024.

Security personnel deplyed during ED officers’ raid at TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh’s home at Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district, Wednesday on 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

Several areas of Sandeshkhali block in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas have remained on the boil over the past few days and on February 9 villagers set on fire properties belonging to Trinamool Congress leaders. Three poultry farms of Shiboprasad Hazra, a local Trinamool Congress were set on fire by an agitated mob in Jeliakhali area of Sandeshkhali. Some other properties belonging to the local Trinamool leader were ransacked and set on fire by the angry villagers.

A couple of days ago properties of another local Trinamool Congress leader Uttam Sardar was also attacked by locals. Villagers had taken to the streets on Thursday in protest against the local Trinamool Congress leadership including Sheikh Shahjahan, Uttam Sardar, and Shiboprasad Hazra.

Angry villagers mostly women were seen with sticks and batons on the streets in Sandeshkhali and outside the police station. The locals were seen attacking the property of local Trinamool Congress leaders. The locals alleged torture at the hands of local Trinamool leadership and said after their land was converted into fisheries, the local leaders took control of the land and refused to pay them.

While Sheikh Shahjahan, the influential Trinamool Congress leader remains on the run after the attack on a team of Enforcement Directorate on January 5, 2024, the villagers said that they wanted Uttam Sardar and Shiboprasad Hazra also be arrested along with Mr. Shahjahan. About 100 km from Kolkata Sandeshkhali is dotted with bheries (fisheries) and falls under the Sundarbans region of the State.

Eight persons were detained in connection with the violence on Friday, West Bengal Police Additional Director-General (Law and Order) Manoj Verma said adding that barring some incidents of Friday morning the situation at Sandeshkhali was under control. Mr. Verma added that there was sufficient deployment in Sandeshkhali with lot of senior officers in the region.

“Investigation is underway into all complaints that have been lodged and action will be taken. At the same time, if someone takes up the law into their hands, the law will take its own course,” the police officer said.

Meanwhile, as the area remains on the boil, the political parties in the Opposition targeted the Trinamool Congress government and said that the spontaneous anger of the people is a reflection of the misrule under the regime.

The Trinamool Congress leadership alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) were inciting the people to foment unrest in the area.

“There could have been discontentment against one or two Trinamool leaders in the area. The conspirators took advantage of that to foment trouble. It is an isolated incident, and people’s grievances will be addressed,” Trinamool spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said. BJP and CPI(M) leadership said that the unrest at Sandeshkhali is an indication of things to come in the future for West Bengal. 

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