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Sandeshkhali case: Supreme Court refuses expedited hearing on plea challenging CBI handover of Shahjahan
Photo courtesy: Screenshot grab from YouTube video

Sandeshkhali case: Supreme Court refuses expedited hearing on plea challenging CBI handover of Shahjahan

| @indiablooms | 06 Mar 2024, 11:48 am

Kolkata/IBNS: In a fresh setback for the West Bengal government, the Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to hear on an urgent basis the state's plea against the Calcutta High Court order directing the handover of erstwhile Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shajahan to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Sandeshkhali case.

The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday ordered the transfer in the case stemming from the attack on Enforcement Directorate (ED) officers allegedly by the followers of TMC's strongman in Sandeshkhali, Sheikh Shahjahan, to the CBI.

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

However, the West Bengal Police on Tuesday evening refused to hand over Shahjahan to the CBI even after the court order.

Instead, they moved the Supreme Court urging for a hearing on an urgent basis.

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 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 went absconding 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 of number of women with brooms, 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 nabbed Shahjahan only after the Calcutta High Court cleared 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 which 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 or ED or CBI can arrest Shahjahan, who has been remanded to 10-day police custody by the Basirhat court.

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