Calcutta High Court Orders Arrest of Trinamool Leader Sheikh Shahjahan in Sandeshkhali Case

A division bench led by Chief Justice T S Sivagnanam directed that Sheikh Shahjahan, along with the Enforcement Directorate, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

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X: @the_news_21

In a significant development, the Calcutta High Court on Monday issued a directive for the arrest of Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan in connection with the Sandeshkhali case. The court clarified that there is no stay on Sheikh Shahjahan’s arrest, despite his absence from public view since a mob attack on Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials on January 5.

A division bench led by Chief Justice T S Sivagnanam directed that Sheikh Shahjahan, along with the Enforcement Directorate, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), and the state home secretary, be included as parties in a suo motu matter initiated to investigate allegations of sexual atrocities on women and land grab of tribal people in Sandeshkhali.

Responding to a query from court-appointed amicus curiae regarding any restraining order on the police from arresting Sheikh Shahjahan, the division bench clarified that no such stay exists, granting authorities the authority to apprehend him.

The court also noted that its previous stay pertained solely to the constitution of a joint special investigation team comprising the CBI and state police, which had been tasked by a single bench to probe the attack on ED officials.

Furthermore, in another development related to the Sandeshkhali controversy, the West Bengal police apprehended TMC leader Ajit Maiti from North 24 Parganas district on charges of land grabbing from villagers.

Maiti, known to be a close associate of Sheikh Shahjahan, was taken into custody after a period of hiding at the residence of a civic volunteer, following pursuit by local villagers. He was subsequently arrested early in the morning following overnight interrogation regarding allegations of land grabbing and sexual abuse of women.

This arrest comes less than 24 hours after Maiti was appointed as the area president by the TMC, succeeding Sheikh Shahjahan’s brother, Sheikh Sirajuddin. As investigations into the Sandeshkhali case continue, the unfolding events underscore the complexities and gravity of the situation, raising pertinent questions about governance and law enforcement in the region.

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