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CBI gets custody of suspended Sandeshkhali strongman Sheikh Shahjahan after court reprimand
Sheikh Shahjahan
Photo courtesy: video grab | wikipedia.org

CBI gets custody of suspended Sandeshkhali strongman Sheikh Shahjahan after court reprimand

| @indiablooms | 06 Mar 2024, 09:15 pm

Kolkata/IBNS: After the tug of war between the West Bengal Police and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the federal agency Wednesday evening finally got the custody of Sandeshkhali strongman and suspended TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan following a Calcutta High Court order for the second time.

After getting custody, the CBI took him to the ESI hospital at Joka in south Kolkata for a routine check-up.

A division bench of the Calcutta High Court headed by Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam directed the CID of West Bengal Police to hand over Shahjahan to the CBI by 4:30 PM on Tuesday.

However, the state government moved to the Supreme Court against the Calcutta HC order. But the apex court refused to hear the matter urgently.

The state government Wednesday moved the top court for the second time but did not receive any order and was asked by the SC judges to move to the Chief Justice of India for an urgent hearing.

Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), another federal agency probing the money trail in the alleged ration scam, moved a division bench of Calcutta High Court headed by Harish Tandon, which ordered the CID of West Bengal police to handover the accused to CBI by 4.15 PM on Wednesday.

The CID cited paperwork and logistic reasons and handed over Shahjahan to CBI at 6.45 PM.

The CID took Sahjahan to the state government-owned SSKM hospital for a routine check-up and brought him back to CID headquarters at Bhawani Bhawan to transfer the accused to the CBI custody.

The West Bengal Police arrested Shahjahan on Feb 29 morning and secured him for ten days custody.

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 then arrested 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.

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