Sandeshkhali unrest: Now NHRC sends notice to Chief Secy, DGP seeking report in 4 weeks

Kolkata Feb 21 (IANS): Taking suo motu cognisance of the ongoing unrest at Sandeshkhali in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday sent a notice to Chief Secretary B.P. Gopalika and acting DGP Rajeev Kumar seeking a detailed report in the matter within the next four weeks.

In the notice, sources said, Gopalika and Kumar have been asked to specify the actions taken by the state government following the unrest that broke out in Sandeshkhali over the protests by the local women alleging sexual harassment and violence by some local Trinamool Congress workers.

It is learnt that the Commission will also send a field inspection team to Sandeshkhali to review the situation there.

Earlier on Wednesday, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) too had sent a similar notice to the Chief Secretary and the acting DGP, seeking a report on Sandeshkhali within the next three days.

NCST’s field inspection team is scheduled to visit Sandeshkhali on Thursday.

NHRC is the fifth central commission after the NCST, National Commission of Scheduled Castes (NCSC), National Commission for Women (NCW) and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to directly intervene in the Sandeshkhali matter.

Political observers feel that the nature of the ongoing crisis at Sandeshkhali is so varied that it has opened the avenues for multiple central commissions to intervene in the matter.

“Since the main case pertains to allegations of sexual harassment, the NCW has rightly stepped in the matter. Secondly, since many of the alleged victims -- both in cases of illegal land grabbing and sexual harassment -- belong to the SC and ST communities, both the NCSC and NCST have intervened.

"Also, the recent event of an infant being snatched from her mother’s arms and flung casually has rightly prompted the NCPCR to step into the matter,” said a city-based political observer.



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Title: Sandeshkhali unrest: Now NHRC sends notice to Chief Secy, DGP seeking report in 4 weeks

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