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regular-article-logo Thursday, 25 April 2024

BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari reaches Sandeshkhali after High Court steps in, CPM poliburo member Brinda Karat allowed too

I will knock on the doors of the court, says the leader of the Oppositon in Bengal who was stopped from visiting the troubled North 24-Parganas island for the third time even though he was carrying a court order

Our Bureau Published 20.02.24, 11:30 AM
Suvendu Adhikari

Suvendu Adhikari File

  • Brinda Karat allowed to visit Sandeshkhali
  • Suvendu Adhikari reached Sandeshkhali around 12.25 pm
  • Around 12.20 pm. Adhikari boarded a ferry to reach Sandeshkhali
  • The division bench of Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam turned down the state’s plea against the single bench order allowing Suvendu Adhikari and Shankar Ghosh to visit Sandeshkhali
  • Calcutta High Court allows BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari to visit Sandeshkhali on Tuesday: reports PTI

Bengal's leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari, armed with a court order, was stopped at Dhamakhali on his third attempt to reach the state's latest political hotspot, Sandeshkhali, on Tuesday.

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Adhikari, along with the BJP lawmakers Agnimitra Paul, Shankar Ghosh, Bishal Lama, Sumita Sinha Roy and Tapasi Mandal, squatted on the road near the Dhamakhali ferry ghat, which was barricaded by the police.

Senior CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat was also stopped by the police from going to Sandeshkhali on Tuesday. Karat said she was told by a police officer that her presence in Sandeshkhali will lead to breach of peace there.

Adhikari tried to talk to the police personnel present, while public announcements were made informing the people that Section 144 had been re-imposed and asked the residents to cooperate.

“My name is Suvendu Adhikari… I am the leader of Opposition. This is the court order I can visit Sandeshkhali,” Adhikari was heard on camera.

According to the order issued by Justice Kaushik Chanda, Adhikari and MLA Shankar Ghosh could visit Sandeshkhali block-II and the gram panchayat.

A senior IPS officer who could not be identified informed the leader of Opposition, “Section 144 has been imposed since 9am. You cannot visit. The state has appealed,” the officer said.

“Your version is totally illegal. You are challenging high court verdict. The division bench till this time has not issued any order (against the single bench verdict). You are violating high court order, challenging the higher judiciary. This is very bad practice. We are all law-abiding people. The high court permission is separate (issue). I have it with me. There is no stay (on that order) but you have stopped me. Section 144 was imposed at 9 am. That has got nothing to do with me and Ghosh. The court has allowed us. You are challenging the higher judiciary,” Adhikari was heard telling the officer.

“This is unfortunate. I will request him to rethink. I will wait here for one hour. If I am not allowed to go, I will turn the car and return to Calcutta. I will go to the high court and knock on the doors of Justice Kaushik Chandra. If necessary, I will sit on the road. The Mamata government and police not following court order.”

Adhikari said he will squat on the road till 12.10 pm.

CPI(M) leader Karat was stopped at Dhamakhali ferry ghat on the way to Sandeshkhali, which has been witnessing protests over allegations of sexual atrocities on women and land grabbed by some local Trinamool Congress leaders.

"Breach of peace occurred when women were called to the local TMC offices and subjected to sexual assault, now it is a fight for justice," she told reporters at Dhamakhali.

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