April 13, 2024 12:03 (IST)
Follow us:
facebook-white sharing button
twitter-white sharing button
instagram-white sharing button
youtube-white sharing button
Amid unemployment, inflation issues, PM Modi's leadership likely to help his third consecutive term at govt: Survey | AAP to support INDIA bloc 'unconditionally' in UP for Lok Sabha election | Amid threats from Iran, Israel launches massive strike on Gaza | Centre advises citizens to avoid travel to Iran, Israel | Jammu and Kashmir assembly polls soon, statehood to be restored: PM Modi in Udhampur
Sandeshkhali incident prime accused TMC's Sheikh Shahjahan can be arrested by ED or CBI, rules Calcutta HC Sandeshkhali
Photo courtesy: Screenshot grab from YouTube video

Sandeshkhali incident prime accused TMC's Sheikh Shahjahan can be arrested by ED or CBI, rules Calcutta HC

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 28 Feb 2024, 01:52 pm

Kolkata/IBNS: The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday ruled the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are free to arrest Trinamool Congress strongman Sheikh Shahjahan, who is accused of land grabbing and sexual abuse of women in West Bengal's Sandeshkhali, media reports said.

ASG SV Raju told the court that the CBI apprehends that police, which are also free to arrest the accused, may collude with Shahjahan, who has been missing for over 50 days now.

In reply, a division bench of Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya said as quoted by Live Law, "he ASG apprehends that if the State police make an arrest, there is a likelihood of the case being diluted as the CBI and ED have serious reservations against the State police and there is an allegation of collusion with the absconding accused.

"The AG has disputed such contention. The concerned person has not been apprehended for a substantial period of time. As of date, what has been stayed is only the constitution of an SIT, Therefore it is well open to the CBI or ED also to arrest the absconding accused."

"Equally so, there are other cases registered against the same accused, where he has been shown as absconding. Therefore, a person elected to public office cannot defy the law. It is open to any agency to arrest the concerned person," the court added.

The court has clarified that it had earlier put a stay on the single bench order of formation of SIT comprising members of CBI and state police after the central probe agency objected to it apprehending information related to the investigation into the attack on ED officials would be leaked by police. 

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, the Pradhan of Zila Parishad in Sandeshkhali, 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.

After the Calcutta High Court on Monday said police can arrest Shahjahan, the ruling TMC said it hopes the prime accused will be taken into police custody within seven days.

Support Our Journalism

We cannot do without you.. your contribution supports unbiased journalism

IBNS is not driven by any ism- not wokeism, not racism, not skewed secularism, not hyper right-wing or left liberal ideals, nor by any hardline religious beliefs or hyper nationalism. We want to serve you good old objective news, as they are. We do not judge or preach. We let people decide for themselves. We only try to present factual and well-sourced news.

Support objective journalism for a small contribution.