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Sandeshkhali incident: Calcutta HC says Sheikh Shahjahan can be arrested, rejects TMC's claim Sandeshkhali
Photo courtesy: Screenshot grab from YouTube video

Sandeshkhali incident: Calcutta HC says Sheikh Shahjahan can be arrested, rejects TMC's claim

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 26 Feb 2024, 01:21 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: The Calcutta High Court on Monday said police are not restrained from arresting absconding Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader in the Sandeshkhali incident, rejecting the ruling party's claim.

The high court has asked police to include Shahjahan, who has been absconding since January 5, in the case.

TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee on Sunday said police were not able to arrest Shahjahan because of a stay order by the Calcutta High Court.

"Our hands are tied," said Abhishek as questions were being raised over whether TMC is shielding Shahjahan, who along with his aides are accused of land grabbing, extortion and sexual abuse by the local women of Sandeshkhali.

"We haven't spared Partha Chatterjee (erstwhile top leader and cabinet minister).. then who is Sheikh Shahjahan?" said the TMC number two man.

Sandeshkhali incident

The turmoil in Sandeshkhali, a remote block about 80 kms from Kolkata and a part of the Basirhat sub-division of North 24 Parganas district, broke out first in early January when a team of Enforcement Directorate (ED) reached TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan's residence to quiz him in connection with the ration distribution scam in the state.

Shahjahan's aides allegedly assaulted and chased the ED officers turning the area into a political hotspot months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

While Shahjahan is now absconding, several women from the village came out with brooms and sticks demanding the arrest of the TMC strongman.

The protesting women have alleged Shahjahan and his aides captured several lands forcefully and sexually harassed them.

Reacting to the allegations, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said in the state assembly on Thursday, "By targeting Shahjahan, ED entered into the area and then created a rift between the Adivasis and minorities."

"If there is any genuine complaint, the government will take action. But first, I have to learn what has happened," she added.

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