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Another Sandeshkhali in West Bengal? Outrage after TMC supporter accused of molesting women in Santipur

The spotlight that once shone on Sandeshkhali for its turmoil over allegations of sexual harassment and land disputes involving local TMC leaders has now shifted to Santipur in West Bengal.

Another Sandeshkhali in West Bengal? Outrage after TMC supporter accused of molesting women in Santipur snt
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First Published Apr 22, 2024, 5:52 PM IST

The spotlight that once shone on Sandeshkhali for its turmoil over allegations of sexual harassment and land disputes involving local TMC leaders has now shifted to Santipur in West Bengal. Here, similar accusations have emerged against a TMC supporter, alleging misconduct towards women in the community.

Jagannath Sarkar, the BJP candidate from Ranaghat, has repeatedly notified the authorities about these incidents, yet no action has been taken against the accused, whom he claims is affiliated with the ruling TMC party. The incident occurred in the Karamchapur area of Bagachapur village panchayat, falling under the jurisdiction of Santipur police station.

Sarkar alleged that a person named Pradeep Sarkar has been behaving indecently with women for many years. "He enters houses at night and molests women. I have submitted many written complaints to police but no action has ever been taken. A few days ago, the accused was found attempting to molest a woman but he ran away seeing the family members," Sarkar added.

After the incident, enraged locals lodged a formal complaint against the accused at the police station. However, despite 72 hours passing, the accused remains at large in the vicinity, as per Sarkar's allegations, further claiming that the accused is also intimidating the complainants with potential repercussions. Sarkar visited the area on Sunday and, after engaging with the women affected, pledged decisive action against the perpetrator.

A local resident Sanji Sarkar reportedly complained, "A few days ago, the accused entered my house taking advantage of the darkness and tried to misbehave with women. He is associated with TMC and so the administration does not take any action against him."

In a similar vein, Sarkar accused the officer-in-charge of the Santipur police station of having a close rapport with Pradeep, suggesting that this relationship has enabled the accused to evade arrest for an extended period. He warned that if prompt action is not taken to apprehend the accused, they will initiate a movement in the days ahead.

Braj Kishore Goswami, TMC MLA from Santipur said, "If such incidents happen to women, then it is very unfortunate. I also want the accused to be arrested. However, I would also like to point out that the concerned panchayat is run by BJP. The panchayat head could have raised concerns about the issue. I will look into the matter."

Ranaghat Superintendent of Police Kumar Saniraj added, “A complaint was also filed on behalf of the accused's family. We have received complaints from both the sides. An attempt is being made to give an unnecessary political colour to the issue. The case is being investigated."

In the wake of this recent development, massive social media outburst has ensued with one user on X, formerly Twitter, stating, "Why always WB and TMC?? What is the reason of their frustration?? Or it's their power, which they are misusing."

Another user on X noted, "70 years of independence and feels pathetic such things are happening in the country. They should get UP CM Yogi Ji's form of governance."

A third irked user stated, "What kind of jungle Raj is going on in WB? A woman heads the state and the conditions for and of the women are pathetic. Appeasement politics people hit new lows everytime."

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