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Abhishek, Mamata claim 'sting video' exposed BJP plan to defame TMC over Sandeshkhali; Rahul Sinha hits back

Kolkata: In a sensational claim amid the bitter war of words over the alleged atrocities on women in Sandeshkhali, the TMC on Saturday flagged a purported sting operation broadcast by a local television channel to claim that the allegations against leaders and workers of the ruling party in the state were false and trumped up at the behest of Opposition leader and BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari.
Polling for the Basirhat Lok Sabha constituency, of which Sandeshkhali is a part, will be conducted in Phase 7 on June 1. The BJP put Rekha Patra, one of the first Sandeshkhali protesters who came out against expelled TMC strongman Sheikh Shahjahan and his henchmen, accusing them of grave sexual crimes, excesses and landgrab on the island, on its ticket from Basirhat.
Sharing a clip from the alleged sting operation, TMC leader and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew, Abhishek Banerjee, claimed on his official X handle that the people should see through the BJP's attempts to tarnish Bengal's image and reputation to advance and achieve its political ends.
"I am shocked beyond words to see the SANDESHKHALI STING VIDEO. Every citizen must witness the BANGLA BIRODHI BJP's ORCHESTRATED attempt to DEFAME AND MALIGN WB for their petty political ends. This abhorrent act epitomises the GROSSEST ABUSE OF POWER in history. SHAME!," Abhishek posted from his official X handle on Saturday.
The people of Bengal will give a befitting reply to this 'staged' act, he claimed.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, too, posted about the alleged sting video from her official X handle, stating, "The shocking Sandeshkhali sting shows how deep the rot is within the BJP. In their hatred for Bengal's progressive thought & culture, the Bangla-Birodhis orchestrated a conspiracy to defame our state on every possible level. Never before in the history of India has a ruling party in Delhi tried to malign an entire state and its people. History will witness how Bengal will rise in rage against Delhi's conspiratorial regime & ensure their Bishorjon (they will be consigned to the waters)."
"A viral video today exposed how the BJP left no stone unturned to malign Bengal. From "mass rape" to "arms seizure," every claim was BOUGHT and STAGED by none other than @SuvenduWB People won't forgive these Bangla-Birodhis. Bengal's mothers & sisters shall avenge this!" read a post on the TMC's official X handle.
However, trashing the alleged sting video as 'doctored', senior BJP leader Rahul Sinha told ANI, "They are claiming an individual, who, in reality, is a TMC booth president, as our booth chief. There is no substance in this so-called sting video. Mamata Banerjee never once visited Sandeshkhali to stand with the wronged and tortured women there."
Shahjahan, the key Sandeshkhali accused, is currently behind bars in connection with the attack on a team of the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) while it was in the process of raiding his residence in connection with the alleged ration scam.
Earlier, a CBI team visited the Rajbari area of Sandeshkhali to probe land-grabbing charges against the now-expelled TMC strongman.
He was arrested on February 29, 55 days after being on the run in connection with the assault on the ED team.
Earlier, the Calcutta High Court, which has been arbitrating on the Sandeshkhali case, stated that the CBI, in its report, mentioned huge volumes of land-grabbing allegations and a lack of proper cooperation from the state authorities. The court also directed the state to deploy more staff to help with the investigation.
The women of Sandeshkhali in the North 24 Parganas district came out on the streets earlier against the ruling TMC and Shahjahan, accusing the strongman and his aides of perpetrating gross excesses and atrocities on them while also gobbling up their land. Multiple women on the island accused Shajahan and his aides of "land-grab and sexual assault" under coercion.

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