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Sandeshkhali: Bengal Police refuse to hand over Sheikh Shahjahan to CBI, ED attaches his properties
Sandeshkhali
Photo courtesy: video grab | wikipedia.org

Sandeshkhali: Bengal Police refuse to hand over Sheikh Shahjahan to CBI, ED attaches his properties

| @indiablooms | 05 Mar 2024, 09:54 pm

Kolkata/IBNS: West Bengal Police Tuesday refused to hand over the case of suspended Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) even after the Calcutta High Court ordered the transfer of the same, media reports said.

The court ordered after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) moved a plea seeking a transfer of the case to the CBI.

The state has approached the Supreme Court and asked for an immediate hearing, but it was turned down. The Supreme Court directed senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for the state, to mention its plea before the Registrar-General, in accordance with the rules.

ED has provisionally attached  Rs. 12.78 crore worth-property of Sheikh Shahjahan including his land and apartment in Sandeshkhali, from where the issue stemmed after the ED officials were attacked on Jan 5 when they reached the area in North 24 Parganas for a raid.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice T S Sivagnanam has asked the case to be transferred to the CBI by 4:30 pm on Tuesday.

Shahjahan and his aides have also been accused of land grabbing and sexual assault of women from Sandeshkhali.

After being absconded for 56 days, Shahjahan was arrested by state police last week. He was remanded to 10-day police custody by a lower court.

Shahjahan's two aides, Shibaprasad Hazra or Shibu Hazra and Uttar Sardar- co-accused of land grabbing and sexual abuse- were arrested last month.

What is the Sandeshkhali incident?

On January 5, the ED officials reached Shahjahan's residence to quiz him in connection with the ration distribution scam, in which erstwhile state Food and Supplies Minister Jyotipriya Mallick is already in jail.

In quite an unanticipated reaction, the ED officials were attacked allegedly by Shahjahan's followers who were in huge numbers and were forced to flee the spot by boarding a vehicle of a news organisation.

Shahjahan- the head of an administrative block in Sandeshkhali- was an aide of Mallick, who is accused of diverting a huge sum of money from the food distribution system.

After Shahjahan absconded from Sandeshkhali, a few women came out in protests against the leader accusing him of land grabbing for over a decade.

The protests escalated in February when a large number of women with brooms, and sticks gathered to demand the arrest of Shahjahan accusing him of sexual abuse.

Several women with most of them covering their faces accused Shahjahan and his aides of calling them to the local party office at odd hours. Some accused the TMC leaders of sexual abuse.

Police last Thursday arrested Shahjahan only after the Calcutta High Court cleared that no stay was put on his arrest in connection with the January 5 incident, a claim put forward by the TMC top brass, a party that is at loggerheads with the BJP which runs the Centre.

TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee last Sunday claimed police could not arrest Shahjahan due to a stay order by the Calcutta High Court. The claim was outrightly rejected by the high court.

In another direction, the high court on Wednesday said police, ED or CBI can arrest Shahjahan, who has been remanded to 10-day police custody by the Basirhat court.

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