Arrest TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan: Calcutta HC

27 February,2024 07:29 AM IST |  Kolkata  |  Agencies

The high court impleads Sheikh in sexual atrocities and land grab case

Women holding posters stage a protest demanding the arrest of local TMC leaders. Pic/PTI

The Calcutta High Court on Monday clarified there is no stay on arrest of TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan, who has been accused of sexual atrocities and land grab in Sandeshkhali. The court directed that Sheikh, the Enforcement Directorate, the CBI, and the state home secretary be impleaded as parties in the suo motu matter initiated on the allegations of sexual atrocities on women and the land grab of tribal people.

A division bench presided by Chief Justice T S Sivagnanam directed that a public notice be given in newspapers by the high court registry stating that Sheikh has been impleaded in the matter, as he is on the run and not seen in public since a mob attack on ED officials on January 5.

On a prayer by court-appointed amicus curiae for clarification on whether there is a restraining order on police from arresting Sheikh, the division bench said there is no such stay and the police can arrest him.

TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan

The court said that in a different matter, it had only stayed the constitution of a joint special investigation team of the CBI and the state police, which had been ordered by a single bench to investigate the attack on ED officials. The division bench, including Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharyya, directed that the matter will come up for hearing again on March 4.

The police arrested TMC leader Ajit Maiti on the charges of land grabbing from villagers, an officer said. After getting over 70 complaints, the police lodged an FIR against Shahjahan Shiekh.

Sheikh to be arrested in seven days: TMC

Senior TMC leader Kunal Ghosh on Monday said party strongman Shahjahan Sheikh, who has been accused of sexual atrocities and land grabbing in Sandeshkhali in West Bengal, will be arrested in seven days. The TMC leader's assertion comes immediately after the Calcutta High Court clarified that there is no stay on the arrest of Shiekh Shahjahan in the case.

Houses of local TMC leaders ransacked

Fresh protests erupted in parts of trouble-torn Sandeshkhali on Monday as locals ransacked properties of local TMC leaders, accused of tormenting villagers in the region, police said. Armed with sticks, they attacked a few houses in Bermajur area of Sandeshkhali, venting their fury against local TMC panchayat leader Shankar Sardar. Shankar, an accused of land grabbing, was not at home but his family members were beaten up by villagers. "The police for years did nothing. That is why we are doing everything to get back our land," a protester said.

Beyond any Indian's comprehension: Smriti

What happened in Sandeshkhali is beyond the comprehension of any Indian, Union minister Smriti Irani said on Monday and questioned the Congress' silence on alleged sexual abuse of women by TMC supporters in the village. Congress people want to go there and talk but the "shehzada", who is still lost in the maze of politics, has not said a word on this matter, the Women and Child Development minister said in an apparent reference to senior party leader Rahul Gandhi.Locals have been protesting for a month against land grabbing and sexually abuse of local women.

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