No democracy in hills: Women panel chief

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Siliguri: Rekha Sharma, chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW), said on Wednesday that people in Darjeeling hills were still feeling “intimidated” and that there was no “democracy” in the region.
Sharma also claimed Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee was speaking about “peace and normality in the hills out of political compulsions”.
“I met over 150 women. I have learnt about the atrocities which they had faced during the 104-day (statehood) strike (last year) and how their voices were suppressed. There is hardly any democracy in the hills,” Sharma said at a state guesthouse here before leaving for Delhi after a three-day visit to the hills. Sharma claimed the district administration did not co-operate with her during the trip in helping probe alleged police abuses on women during the agitation. She had met a number of women, some of whom claimed they faced 40 police cases. Many people were pressurised by the administration not to meet with her, Sharma alleged. KATHUA-LAWYER

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