Sandeshkhali: Calcutta HC allows BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari's visit

I will go to the village with a small team of our party legislators and try to interact with the people there, says the West Bengal opposition leader

Suvendu Adhikari (photo: DW)
Suvendu Adhikari (photo: DW)


A single-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court on Monday allowed BJP MLA and leader of the opposition (LoP) in the West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, to visit those areas in Sandeshkhali where section 144 of the CrPC has been withdrawn. Following the court order, Adhikari plans to reach the area on Tuesday.

Initially, though the district administration imposed section 144 in 19 village panchayats, the prohibitory orders were withdrawn from four at a later stage.

As per the order of the single-judge bench of justice Kausik Chanda, the LoP will have no restriction in visiting those areas in Sandeshkhali where there are no prohibitory orders in place.

Earlier, the LoP was stopped twice from approaching Sandeshkhali when he tried to go there with a team of BJP MLAs, quite a distance from the entry point on both occasions. Thereafter, Adhikari approached Calcutta High Court seeking permission to visit the troubled zone.

Counsel for the state government said since Adhikari was not a resident of Sandeshkhali, there was no reason for him to go there until the situation had returned to normal.

The government’s counsel also said there were inputs from the West Bengal intelligence agencies on what could happen at Sandeshkhali if the LoP went there.

Welcoming Monday’s court order, Adhikari — once the second in command to Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee who switched sides to the BJP amidst extensive corruption allegations against him — said the court had rightly recognised his argument of not being allowed to go even to those places at Sandeshkhali where Section 144 had not been imposed. “I will go to Sandeshkhali tomorrow with a small team of our party legislators and try to interact with the people there,” he said.

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