2024 Sandeshkhali violence

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On 5 January 2024, a team of Enforcement Directorate officers visited the village of Sandeshkhali, in West Bengal, India, to interrogate a Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan, in the connection with the ration corruption case in which senior minister Jyotipriya Mallick was arrested in October 2023 by the agency. But instead of the arrest of Sheikh Shahjahan, ED officers were threatened and hurted by the supporters.

Allegations of systemic sexual assault on multiple women of Sandeshkhali surfaced in mainstream media during early February 2024. The claims were made by some of the local villagers against the regional Trinamool Congress leaders. The accusations surfaced after a series of violent events took place after the failed attempts of arresting Sheikh Shahjahan.


  • Whatever has happened in Sandeshkhali and the bravery with which our workers are fighting against this oppression and tyranny, I want to congratulate for this. I consider such incidents to be a stain on the civilized society. This should be strongly condemned…
    • Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, while speaking at the BJP National Convention 2024 in New Delhi on Saturday, condemned the Sandeshkhali Violence. [1] February 18, 2024
  • During the (West Bengal) Assembly session two days ago, she expressed her support for Sheikh Shahjahan. It's disgraceful that a Chief Minister, especially a woman, is advocating for a criminal like him.
    • BJP leader Agnimitra Paul claimed chief minister Mamata Banerjee is advocating for Sheikh. Feb 17, 2024
  • Sheikh Shahjahan and his gang established a 'reign of terror' where the dignity and modesty of women belonging to the SC & ST Communities have been repeatedly violated. They forcefully captured swathes of land belonging to the Janjatiyas & Tribals.
    • Suvendu Adhikari, BJP's leader of opposition in West Bengal and Nandigram MLA wrote on X, on February 11. [2]
  • Party (TMC) men would survey every home and if there was any beautiful woman, primarily a young wife or a girl, they would take them to the party office. They will keep that woman there night after night till they are satisfied.
    • One of the several local women, who kept her face covered to hide her identity fearing attack by Shajahan and his associates, told reporters. [3]
  • TMC workers would come to the village and pick out the ‘beautiful women.’ These men would hunt for young women and send diktat to their families to hand over the victims to them... You may be the husband but you cannot exercise your right. They would take your wife away for nights at a stretch. They would not release the women from their captivity until they are ‘fully satisfied. They have 20-30 goons with them. They would come in bikes and exercise their writ in the village.
    • A resident of Sandeshkhali , speaking to Republic Bangla on Saturday (10th February) [4] 11 February, 2024
  • "Can you imagine that the women who supported Mamata ji for years are now being abducted from their homes and raped," Irani said during a discussion on 'Naari Shakti: Driving Mission Viksit Bharat' at News9 Global Summit. "What happened there is beyond the comprehension of any Indian. When violence erupted in West Bengal after the (assembly) elections, I had said that perhaps there is a feeling in the media that if it's BJP members, it (they) can be easily eliminated... "The perception is that because we belong to the BJP, if someone eliminates us in West Bengal, it should not matter because this is the political cost we bear for fighting," she said. "In Sandeshkhali, the people impacted are not those from the BJP but their own. They came for us first, now they are coming for their own," she added.
    • Smriti Irani, [5]
  • "Mamata Banerjee is known for the genocide of Hindus. She will now allow her men to pick young married Hindu women to be raped in the TMC office... Who is this man who has been charged by the women of Sandeshkhali of the mass rape of Bengali Hindu women?... Till now everybody has been wondering who Sheikh Shahjahan is. Now, the question Mamata Banerjee has to answer is - where is Sheikh Shahjahan?," she was quoted as saying by news agency ANI... "TMC goons" would abduct women every night and rape them. "In Sandeshkhali, some women narrated their ordeals to the media... They said TMC goons visited door to door to identify the most beautiful woman in every house. Who is young. The husbands of identified women were told that you might be the husband, but now you have no right on your wife. They would abduct women every night. They didn't leave us till they were satisfied... These accusations have been made by women of Dalit, ST, fishermen and farmer communities of the region," she added. "The question is, can we, as citizens, be mute speculators? Who is this man who is charged by the women of Sandeshkhali with mass rape of Bengali Hindu women? I say this because the women of Sandeshkhali, when they spoke to the media locally, said that they were particularly identified as being married and Hindu. Till now, everybody has been wondering who Sheikh Shahjahan is," she added.
    • Smriti Irani, [6]
  • West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose said: "What I saw was ghastly shocking, shattering to my senses. I saw something which I should never have seen. I heard many things which I should never have heard. If you have tears, this is the time to shed those tears... That how horrible human life is, where the law cannot take its course...When I listened to my mothers and sisters there...Imagine a happy home, husband and wife, grown-up children including girl children. Some goons come from inside the house, catch hold of the girl child, assault the wife in front of the husband and beat up the husband...This is no fiction. This is what I was told happened in this village in the last few days. They know who did this... This can never happen. We should fight it out under the Constitution. I will fight it out under the Constitution. I will fight it out within the laws of the land. I will fight it out the democratically elected government of the state. Certainly, we will spare no efforts to see that the guilty are punished."
    • West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose, [7]
  • Sandeshkhali villagers "faced assault, threats, sexual exploitation, land grabbing, and forced unpaid labour"
  • "The pervasive fear of reprisal, coupled with the power dynamics at play, acted as a formidable barrier, preventing these individuals from voicing their grievances. This climate of terror not only perpetuates the cycle of abuse but also underscores the urgent need to create a safe and supportive environment for victims to break free from the shackles of silence," the NHRC said.
  • In Sandeshkhali, our Dalit sisters faced atrocities but TMC tried to save the accused. Is it because his name was Shahjahan Sheikh?”
  • Women are facing atrocities in the TMC rule. The events of Sandeshkhali have jolted the nation. People have the right to vote, and they will vent their anger in the process.
  • Today I visited Sandeshkhali, where TMC goons, are threatening the people to prove Sk. Shahjahan is innocent. One woman named Anwesha Mondal, told me about the atrocities of Dilip Mallickw who few days ago abducted a woman, Following this complaint, today evening, TMC goons abducted her threw her tied beside a pond and left her to die. WE took her to the Police Station.
    • Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Advocate Priyanka Tibrewal , May 15, 2024 [8] also at [9]
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