CBI Team Probes Alleged Crimes Against Women and Land Grabbing in Sandeshkhali, West Bengal
CBI Team Probes Alleged Crimes Against Women and Land Grabbing in Sandeshkhali, West Bengal

Kolkata: A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team visited Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal on Saturday to investigate alleged crimes against women and cases of land grabbing. The team individually spoke with the alleged victims, documenting their allegations.

The investigation comes after the Calcutta High Court ordered the CBI to probe allegations of crimes against women and land grabbing in Sandeshkhali. The High Court directed the central investigating agency to create a dedicated portal/email ID for lodging complaints to ensure confidentiality.

In compliance with the High Court's order, the CBI established a dedicated email ID, sandeshkhali@cbi.gov.in, to receive complaints. Additionally, the agency received several complaints on its dedicated email ID.

A 10-member CBI team visited Sandeshkhali, with one group visiting the houses of victims in the Sundarikhali area and documenting their allegations individually. Another group of the team visited Sandeshkhali Police Station and spoke with local policemen regarding the investigation.

An official stated, "We are in Sandeshkhali to speak to villagers in connection with crimes against women and land-grabbing. We are noting down their allegations."

The High Court's order came in response to a batch of pleas, including a suo motu case initiated by the High Court based on media reports of alleged incidents of sexual assault and land grabbing in Sandeshkhali.

Numerous women in Sandeshkhali alleged that they were sexually assaulted and their lands were grabbed by suspended Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Shahjahan Sheikh and his supporters.

Sheikh, who was on the run for over 50 days, was arrested by the West Bengal Police amidst allegations of crimes against women and land grabbing. The High Court clarified that any agency—West Bengal Police, CBI, and Enforcement Directorate (ED)—had the authority to arrest him.

Sheikh had been evading arrest after a mob attacked ED officials in Sandeshkhali on January 5 while they were conducting a search of Sheikh’s premises in connection with an alleged ration distribution scam case in West Bengal.

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