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Trinamool’s Sheikh Shahjahan arrested in Sandeshkhali case



Trinamool’s Sheikh Shahjahan arrested in Sandeshkhali case

Trinamool’s Sheikh Shahjahan arrested in Sandeshkhali case

West Bengal Police arrested Sheikh Shahjahan, the Trinamool Congress leader accused of sexual violence and land grab by several women in Sandeshkhali.

Sheikh Shahjahan, the Trinamool Congress leader accused of sexual violence and land grab by several women in West Bengal’s Sandeshkhali, was arrested on Thursday morning after 55 days of absconding.

The 53-year-old Trinamool strongman was picked up from the Minakhan area in North 24 Parganas and was produced in court at around 10:30 am.

The arrest comes three days after the Calcutta High Court pulled up the state police for the delay in taking action against the Trinamool leader and stated that “he should be arrested”.

Following the arrest, Section 144 has been imposed in Sandeshkhali, including Sarberia and Akunjipara areas near Sheikh Shahjahan’s residence.

A large number of women in Sandeshkhali had accused Shajahan Sheikh and his supporters of land-grab and sexual assault under coercion. The riverine area has been embroiled in a series of protests for more than a month, demanding the arrest of Sheikh and his accomplices.

West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar, commenting on the arrest, said that the Mamata Banerjee government was “forced to take action due to the continuous agitation by the BJP”

“The government was in denial mode. They were not even accepting that anything as such had happened. I had already said that we would compel the government to arrest Sheikh Shahjahan. Today, due to the agitation of the BJP and the women of Sandeshkhali, the government and Mamata Banerjee are compelled to arrest Sheikh Shahjahan,” he said.

Trinamool MP Santanu Sen said Shahjahan’s arrest was delayed due to the “stay order” and added the arrest proves that “our government follows ‘rajdharma’ in an administrative manner”. The “BJP should learn ‘rajdharma’ from the TMC”, he said.

“Abhishek Banerjee had said that the Police were unable to arrest him due to the court’s stay order. He has been arrested within 3-4 days of the removal of the stay order,” the Triamool leader asserted.

Shajahan has been absconding since January 5, when a mob allegedly affiliated with him attacked Enforcement Directorate officials who had gone to search his premises in connection with a scam.

The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes has received 50 complaints of “sexual abuse and land grab” from tribal families against the Trinamool leader and his associates. The state government officials stated that they have received almost 1,250 complaints, including 400 related to land issues.

The High Court is set to hear the case against Shahjahan on March 4.

The High Court on Wednesday had directed that the Trinamool Congress leader can also be arrested by the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate (ED). However, additional Solicitor General of India SV Raju, appearing for the ED, expressed apprehension that if the state police arrest Sheikh, there is a likelihood of the case being diluted by the state police.

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