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Supreme Court to Hear Plea for Independent Probe into Alleged Sandeshkhali Violence


The Supreme Court is set to deliberate on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) tomorrow, seeking a court-monitored investigation into the violence that unfolded in Sandeshkhali village, located in the North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. The PIL, filed by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, calls for either a CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) or an SIT (Special Investigation Team) probe to ascertain the truth behind the disturbing events.

Background of Sandeshkhali Protests

Sandeshkhali has been gripped by protests stemming from allegations of sexual abuse against women. A local Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader, Shajahan Sheikh, and his supporters have been accused of land-grab and sexual assault against women under coercion. The situation escalated further when a mob, allegedly affiliated with Sheikh, attacked Enforcement Directorate officials during a search operation related to a corruption case. Sheikh himself has been missing since the incident.

Key Points of the PIL

  1. CBI or SIT Probe: The PIL seeks a thorough investigation into the violence. The court will consider whether the CBI or a special investigation team should lead the inquiry.
  2. Compensation for Victims: The plea also demands compensation for the victims affected by the Sandeshkhali violence.
  3. Action Against Police Officials: The PIL calls for accountability of West Bengal Police officials allegedly involved in dereliction of duty during the crisis.
  4. Transfer of Probe: The petitioner requests the transfer of the investigation and subsequent trial outside West Bengal.
  5. Three-Judge Committee: The PIL proposes an inquiry by a three-judge committee, similar to the approach taken in the Manipur violence case.

Court Proceedings

The PIL was expedited after Alakh Alok Srivastava urgently listed it before the Supreme Court. A bench comprising Justice BV Nagarathna and Justice Augustine George Masih will preside over the hearing.

The court’s decision could have far-reaching implications for justice, accountability, and the safety of women in Sandeshkhali. As the nation awaits the outcome, the eyes of justice remain focused on this critical case.

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