NHRC Seeks Action Taken Report From Bengal Govt Over Recommendations On Sandeshkhali Issue

(MENAFN- IANS) Kolkata, April 13 (IANS) The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Saturday sought an action taken report from the West Bengal government on 12 recommendations made by the rights body over complaints of illegal land grabbing, extortion and incidents of sexual harassment of women at Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district.

The NHRC in a statement, a copy of which is available with IANS, stated that the commission's spot enquiry report has flagged several human rights concerns in Sandeshkhali.

"The NHRC has sent its spot enquiry report to the Chief Secretary and DGP, West Bengal to submit an action taken report within eight weeks on each of the recommendations made therein. The Commission has also directed to upload the spot enquiry report on its website for wider dissemination of information," the NHRC statement read.

The 12 recommendations of the NHRC include ensuring witness, protection, counselling, and rehabilitation of victims of sexual offences, return of the land to the legitimate owners, revival of that land to make it suitable for agriculture, operationalisation of Nationwide Emergency Response System, and investigation of cases of missing women/ girls from the area.

In its statement, the NHRC also observed that the atmosphere due to the atrocities by the alleged accused persons rendered the victims silent.

"The villagers/victims faced assault, threats, sexual exploitation, land grabbing, and forced unpaid labour, and under the given circumstances they were compelled to seek livelihood outside the Sandeshkhali region/state," the NHRC statement read.

The commission is also of the opinion that 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.



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