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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 April 2024

Sandeshkhali: National Commission for Scheduled Tribes seeks reports on sex abuse

The commission has decided to dispatch a team to Sandeshkhali on February 22 for an on-site evaluation

Saibal Gupta Calcutta Published 22.02.24, 05:50 AM
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The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes has issued notices to Bengal chief secretary B.P. Gopalika and director general of police Rajeev Kumar, directing them to provide information concerning a sexual harassment complaint filed by a woman at Sandeshkhali in North 24-Parganas.

The commission also instructed Gopalika and Kumar to furnish comprehensive details regarding the steps taken in response to the woman’s allegations within three days of receiving the notice. Failure to comply with the notice will require the two officials to appear in person or be represented before the commission.

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The commission has decided to dispatch a team to Sandeshkhali on February 22 for an on-site evaluation.

Experts say following provisions outlined in Article 338A of the Constitution, the commission not only has the responsibility of investigating complaints from the Scheduled Tribes but also bears the duty of ensuring their safety and security.

“It is constitutionally binding on the state government to send the detailed investigation report,” the expert said.

NHRC notices

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday announced that it had decided to despatch a special team to Sandeshkhali in North 24-Parganas to probe allegations of sexual violence and land grabbing.

“Considering the gravity of the matter, the Commission has also considered it deem fit and proper to depute its team to ascertain facts by a spot-enquiry into the incidents of violence of human rights in Sandeshkhali, North 24 Parganas. The team shall be led by a Member of the Commission who shall be assisted by officers of the Commission,” reads an official release issued by Jaimini Kumar Srivastava, the spokesperson for the NHRC, in Delhi.

The commission has issued notices to the chief secretary and the director general of police in Bengal, seeking reports within four weeks on the violence in Sandeshkhali and the action taken or proposed to be taken on crimes.

Additional reporting by our legal correspondent in New Delhi

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