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Arrest Shahjahan Sheikh, says Calcutta HC, adds him as respondent in Sandeshkhali case

Mangalore Today News Network/News18

Kolkata, Feb 26, 2024: The Calcutta High Court on Monday added absconding Trinamool Congress (TMC) strongman Shahjahan Sheikh as a respondent in a case registered by the court in the Sandeshkhali issue. The high court said there was no stay on Shahjahan Sheikh’s arrest.



When Additional Solicitor General Asok Kumar Chakrabarti requested the court to clarify if there was any stay on Shahjahan’s arrest, the Chief Justice said, “We clarify that there is no stay on his arrest. A stay on investigation doesn’t mean a stay on arrest. There is an FIR registered and he has been branded as an accused. Bengal Police has to arrest him.”

The court has asked the registry department to issue a public notice about the development as he is untraceable.

Responding to the latest developments in the Sandeshkhali issue, West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose said, “It is a momentous statement. It means the culprit has to be arrested and no excuse can be made now.”

He added, “In a democracy, there is a process of governance and the court has a place. We have to respect it. As a governor, I also say that the arrest has to be made immediately.”

Earlier in the day, after getting over 70 complaints, the police lodged a fresh FIR against the absconding TMC leader and prime accused in the matter.

Most of the complainants claimed that Shajahan was actively involved in the forcible acquisition of their land and torturing of local women, the police officer said. Angry villagers had attacked Maity a couple of days back for his alleged ties with Shajahan and his group, accused of land grabbing and sexual assault on local women.

Meanwhile, villagers of Sandeshkali in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas continued their protests and vandalised the houses of local TMC leaders, including Shankar Sardar.

The riverine Sandeshkhali area, situated about 100 kilometres from Kolkata on the borders of the Sunderbans, has been witnessing protests since the first week of February over allegations of sexual atrocities and land grabs by local TMC leaders. One of the key accused Shahjahan Sheikh has been evading authorities since a mob attack on Enforcement Directorate officials, who had gone to search his premises in Sandeshkhali in connection with a corruption case, on January 5. Shiba Prasad Hajra and Uttam Sardar, considered close associates of Sheikh, were, however, arrested.

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