TMC strongman Sheikh Shahjahan arrested, sent to 10-day police custody | Kolkata - Hindustan Times
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TMC strongman Sheikh Shahjahan arrested, sent to 10-day police custody

Feb 29, 2024 04:09 PM IST

Shahjahan has been at large for more than 50 days since an Enforcement Directorate team that went to raid his house in Sandeshkhali was attacked by a mob

In a major breakthrough, Trinamool Congress (TMC) strongman Sheikh Shahjahan of Sandeshkhali in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district was arrested by the state police in the early hours of Thursday, officials said. The Basirhat court has sent him to 10 days police custody.

He was arrested from a house in Minakhah in North 24 Parganas district, police said. (Sourced photo)
He was arrested from a house in Minakhah in North 24 Parganas district, police said. (Sourced photo)

Hours after the arrest, TMC MP Derek O Brien announced that the party has decided to suspend Shahjahan for six years.

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Elaborating on the arrest, Supratim Sarkar, ADG - South Bengal, told media persons, “Shahjahan was arrested late on Wednesday night from Bamanpukur area at Minakhan in North 24 Parganas. He was arrested in connection with the case related to attack on ED officials on January 5. He was one of the principal accused in the case. Several other cases have been lodged against him after protests broke out in Sandeshkhali earlier this month. Those are being investigated.”

Shahjahan is accused in multiple cases of land grabbing and sexual assault and had been on the run since January 5 after Enforcement Directorate officials were attacked when they went to search his house in connection with the ration distribution scam.

“Soon after his arrest, he was shifted to the Basirhat court and has been kept in the court’s police lockup to prevent any law-and-order situation,” another officer said.

Earlier this week, the Calcutta high court paved the way for the arrest of the controversial leader while brushing aside claims by the state government that there was a stay on apprehending the TMC leader. On Wednesday, a division bench led by Calcutta high court chief justice TS Sivagnanam also gave the green signal to the CBI and ED to arrest him.

The court was told by state advocate general Kishore Datta that the police have registered 43 cases, including for sexual assault, against Shahjahan in the last four years. Barring one, in which the investigation is still on, the police have submitted charge sheet in all the cases. Shahjahan was shown absconding in some cases.

Several villages in Sandeshkhali block-II have been on the boil since early this month with villagers, mostly women, hitting the roads demanding Shahjahan’s arrest.

The police have already arrested his two aides – TMC zilla parishad members Shibaparasad Hazra and Uttam Sardar – over allegations of land grabbing and sexual assault.

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