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Hours after arrest, TMC suspends its Sandeshkhali strongman Sheikh Shahjahan for 6 yrs
Image Credit: Video grab

Hours after arrest, TMC suspends its Sandeshkhali strongman Sheikh Shahjahan for 6 yrs

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 29 Feb 2024, 05:44 pm

Kolkata: Hours after the arrest of Trinamool Congress strongman SheikhShahjahan in the Sandeshkhali land-grab and sexual assault case, the party announced its decision to suspend him from its ranks for six years.

According to reports, he was arrested in the North Parganas district.

Announcing on Thursday, TMC MP Derek O’Brien said, “We have decided to suspend Shahjahan Sheikh from the party for six years. As always, we walk the talk. We have set examples in the past, and we are doing that again today.”

The TMC strongman in Sandeshkhali had been escaping the police for the past 55 days before being arrested by the West Bengal Police early on Thursday.

Following his arrest, he was remanded to police custody for 10 days by a local court.

After his appearance in court, the TMC leader was taken to the CID headquarters at Bhavani Bhawan in Kolkata. Sources indicate that the case is likely to be transferred to the CID.

Sheikh and his aides are key figures in cases involving land grab and allegations of sexual harassment that emerged after violent protests erupted in Sandeshkhali island, located in the North 24 Parganas district.

He had been in hiding since January 5, following an incident where a group of his supporters attacked a team of ED officials near his residence in Sandeshkhali.

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.

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