Poonam Singh

The six-member central committee of BJP comprising Union Ministers and MPs was stopped by police in West Bengal's Rampur from visiting Sandeshkhali on Friday.

The committee was formed by the party to probe the alleged incidents of sexual harassment and violence against women in Sandeshkhali.

The committee accompanied by BJP legislator Agnimitra Paul started for Sandeshkhali on Friday morning. But as soon as they reached Rampur area, which is at a distance from Sandeshkhali, they were stopped by a huge police contingent deployed there.

Following the development, there was a heated exchange of words between the committee members and the police officials. While the committee members argued that only five of them would enter Sandeshkhali, the police official refused to pay any heed to their reasoning.

The committee members and Paul sat on the street at the place where they were stopped and started protesting against the police action.

The committee members alleged that the state administration was scared that the women at Sandeshkhali, who have complained of sexual harassment by the close associates of absconding Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan, might disclose some more gory tales of their harassment.

“The intention of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is clear. She wants to protect her own partymen who are responsible for such heinous acts at Sandeshkhali. She is a shame for West Bengal,” Paul told mediapersons.

On Thursday, a team of four BJP legislators led by the leader of the opposition in West Bengal assembly Suvendu Adhikari was similarly stopped by the police while they were on their way to Sandeshkhali.

Union Minister Annapurna Devi is the convenor of the high-level committee. Other members of the committee are Union Minister Pratima Bhowmik, MP Sunita Duggal, MP Kavita Patidar, MP Sangeeta Yadav and Brij Lal (Rajya Sabha MP and former Director General of Police of Uttar Pradesh).

While on one hand the BJP’s central team was stopped at Rampur, a three-member fact-finding team of Trinamool Congress was seen moving within Sandeshkhali talking to people there.