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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 19 June 2024

National Commission for Women chief Rekha Sharma says Mamata Banerjee should visit Sandeshkhali

Comment came a day after she had visited Sandeshkhali and demanded President’s rule in Bengal in view of allegedly deteriorating law and order in state

Our Special Correspondent Calcutta Published 21.02.24, 10:50 AM
Rekha Sharma

Rekha Sharma File picture

The chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW), Rekha Sharma, on Tuesday said chief minister Mamata Banerjee should visit Sandeshkhali to see the ground realities by herself.

“The chief minister should visit Sandeshkhali immediately to get to know what happened with the women in Sandeshkhali,” Sharma said after holding a meeting with Bengal DGP Rajeev Kumar.

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The comment came a day after she had visited Sandeshkhali and demanded the President’s rule in Bengal in view of the allegedly deteriorating law and order in the state.

Sharma claimed that Kumar had admitted during her meeting with him that there were some flaws on the part of the police administration and that was why the problem had escalated.

“The DGP accepted that there were some flaws in policing and that’s why the problem reached such an extent. It is significant that the DGP accepted the flaws... It is the first step towards improvement,” said Sharma.

She said she had also sought the transfer of all police officers posted in Sandeshkhali and the DGP listened to the demand with utmost sincerity.

“But his approach changed and he cut short the meeting after he received some phone calls,” she said.

The delay in arresting Sheikh Shahjahan — who is at large since an attack on Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials, who had gone to raid his home — had also come up during the meeting, claimed Sharma. She said the DGP had expressed his helplessness in taking steps against the absconding Trinamul leader.

“He said as there was nothing against Shahjahan, he could not do anything.... He also said the ED should arrest him,” said Sharma.

The NCW chairperson thanked the DGP for allowing her to hold a meeting with him.

“I had visited Bengal eight-nine times before but none of the DGPs dared to hold a meeting with me. This time, the DGP at least gave me time for a meeting. This is in fact a change in approach,” she said.

Sharma’s demand for the President’s rule in Bengal was severely criticised by the Trinamul Congress which sought her resignation, alleging that she “puts party interests above the safety of women and children”.

“Your (Rekha Sharma) allegiance to BJP renders your position utterly unfair and disgraceful. How dare you prioritise party loyalty over the safety of women? Your shameless partiality makes a mockery of the prestigious role. Resign now and spare us from your partisan incompetence,” read a post on the X handle of the All India Trinamul Congress.

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