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Trinamool cancels public meeting in Sandeshkhali today

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Trinamool cancels public meeting in Sandeshkhali today

Kolkata, Feb 18 (IANS) Amid growing controversies over the complaints of harassment of women at Sandeshkhali in West Bengal, Trinamool Congress has cancelled its public meeting there on Sunday.

Instead, two members of the state cabinet, namely Irrigation Minister Partha Bhowmik and Fire Services Minister Sujit Bose, will be going to Sandeshkhali in the afternoon. After speaking to the local people, the two will decide the day of the public meeting.

Party insiders said that the decision to cancel the public meeting at Sandeshkhali on Sunday was taken on Saturday night, hours after the second Trinamool Congress leader accused of sexual harassment and violence against women, Shibu Hazra, was arrested from a hideout by the state police.

“Full normalcy is yet to be restored there. Section 144 is still imposed there. At the same time the higher secondary examinations conducted by the state council are underway. So any public meeting might cause inconvenience for the examinees. So considering all factors and as a responsible political party we have decided to cancel our public meeting on Sunday,” said a senior member of the state cabinet on condition of anonymity.

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He also said that in all probability the public meeting at Sandeshkhali might be conducted on March 4, after the higher secondary examinations are over.

Although the two prime accused in the case of harassment of women — Shibu Hazra and Uttam Sardar — have been arrested by the police, the alleged political mentor of the duo and the accused mastermind behind the attack on ED and CAPF personnel on January 5, Sheikh Shahjahan, is still on the run.

However, recently Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had virtually given a clean chit to Shahjahan and accused the ED of going to Sandeshkhali to target the absconding leader with the intention of creating tension there.

–IANS

src/dpb

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