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Fresh clash erupts in Sandeshkhali after TMC releases new sting video | Kolkata


May 12, 2024

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Saturday late night released a new video in which Gangadhar Koyal, a mandal president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from Sandeshkahli in North 24 Parganas, could be purportedly seen saying that he would require at least 50 pistols and 600 cartridges to sustain unrest in around 50 booths, which are under his jurisdiction, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

A clash breaks out between TMC and BJP workers in Sandeshkhali on Sunday. (ANI)
A clash breaks out between TMC and BJP workers in Sandeshkhali on Sunday. (ANI)

Meanwhile fresh violence erupted in Sandeshkhali on Sunday with BJP workers, mostly women, attacking TMC workers alleging they were making the fake videos. The Sandeshkhali police station was also gheraoed.

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Koyal was first seen in a purported sting video released by the TMC on May 4 in which he claimed that the Sandeshkhali unrest was orchestrated by the BJP and the party had paid village women to lodge fake complaints of rape to get TMC leaders arrested.

“Thirty pistols for Korakati and 20 pistols for Manipur (name of villages in Sandeshkhali block II) would suffice. The persons who would handle these are trained. There are no such trained men in Sandeshkhali village. We don’t need bombs. For each pistol 12 cartridges would do,” Koyal was seen saying in the fresh video released by the TMC on Saturday.

In the 46-minute video uploaded by TMC spokesperson Riju Dutta on X, Koyal could be also seen purportedly sharing details of the amount of alcohol and funds he would need in the runup to the elections.

“It would cost 2.5 lakh (to arrange alcohol) for 50 booths with 5,000 for each booth. Around 30% women and 70% men would consume alcohol. This is the minimum requirement,” he added.

Sandeshkhali had hit the headlines in February when village women staged violent protests demanding the arrest of Shahjahan, a TMC strongman, and his aides over allegations of sexual assault and land grabbing. Shahjahan was arrested on February 29 on the orders of the Calcutta high court. He was later handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

On May 4, however, the purported sting video was released in which Koyal was seen allegedly saying that there were no rapes and women were paid to lodge false complaints of sexual assault.

“At least 72 women received a one-time payment,” he claimed in the fresh video released on Saturday. He had earlier claimed that 2,000 were paid to the women.

Koyal has already lodged a complaint with the CBI alleging that the video was doctored and has demanded a CBI probe.

The BJP shared a video on X on Friday in which one woman, who was featured in the sting video, was seen alleging that she was threatened to make the statements and the sting video was doctored.

Even though HT has seen all the videos it could not independently ascertain the authenticity of them.

On Sunday, fresh violence erupted in Sandeshkhali with BJP workers, comprising mostly women, led by the party’s Basirhat Lok Sabha candidate Rekha Patra attacking a TMC worker Dilip Mallick and staging a protest outside Sandeshkhali police station.

Mallick was beaten up by the BJP’s women workers and his shirt ripped in the presence of Sukumar Mahato, TMC MLA from Sandeshkhali. A few other TMC workers who tried to rescue Mallick were also chased and beaten up with sticks.

“After Shahjahan and his aides were arrested, Mallick and his associates filled up the vacuum. They have no respect for women. These TMC leaders are making fake videos to malign us. If they touch the women, then women also have the right to hit back,” Patra told reporters.

“The BJP is a ferocious party, and its Basirhat candidate Rekha Patra is creating massive trouble in Sandeshkhali. The TMC is being attacked. Violence is going on under her leadership. This is Modi’s guarantee. If Modi can threaten the women in his speech, then under his command such things are going on in Sandeshlkhali,” said Shashi Panja, state minister.

By admin