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Business News/ News / India/  Sandeshkhali violence: Calcutta HC orders Bengal police to hand over Shahjahan Sheikh to CBI by 4.30 pm today
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Sandeshkhali violence: Calcutta HC orders Bengal police to hand over Shahjahan Sheikh to CBI by 4.30 pm today

Calcutta HC ordered Bengal police to hand over Sandeshkhali accused Trinamool Congress (TMC) strongman Shahjahan Sheikh to CBI by 4.30 pm.

Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shajahan, accused of sexual violence and land grabbing in Sandeshkhali village (PTI)Premium
Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shajahan, accused of sexual violence and land grabbing in Sandeshkhali village (PTI)

Calcutta High Court has ordered West Bengal police to hand over Sandeshkhali accused Trinamool Congress (TMC) strongman Shahjahan Sheikh to CBI by 4.30 pm today. The Calcutta HC also directed the transfer of probe into attack on Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials at Sandeshkhali to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). 

Shahjahan Sheikh was arrested by the West Bengal police on February 29 in connection with the attack on ED officials. The TMC strongman is accused of alleged land-grabbing and sexual atrocities in Sandeshkhali

A division bench presided by Chief Justice T S Sivagnanam directed that the directions be complied with by 4.30 pm on Tuesday.

Both the ED and the West Bengal government moved separate appeals challenging a single bench order which on January 17 ordered formation of a joint special investigation team (SIT) of the CBI and the state police to probe the mob attack on the ED officials.

While the ED wanted the probe to be transferred to the CBI only, the state prayed that the investigation be given to the state police only.

In the transfer application, alleging that the state police was biased, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju submitted that they purposely arrested Shahjahan Sheikh in a case by the ED on the attack on its officials by a nearly 1,000-strong mob on January 5 at Sandeshkhali, even though more than 40 other cases are pending against him for years.

The TMC leader was arrested by police on February 29, a day after the high court ordered that Shahjahan Sheikh, the main accused in alleged sexual atrocities on women and land grabbing at Sandeshkhali, can be arrested by the CBI, the ED or the West Bengal Police.

Immediately after his arrest, Sheikh was suspended by the TMC for six years. He was the party convenor of the Sandeshkhali assembly constituency and was also a member of the TMC-held North 24 Parganas Zilla Parishad.

A large number of women in Sandeshkhali have claimed that TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh and his "gang" captured swathes of land by force, besides "sexually harassing" them.

A fact-finding report was prepared by the National Commission for Women which said that it has gathered disturbing testimonies of women alleging widespread fear and systematic abuse by both police officers and members of the ruling Trinamool Congress.

Meanwhile, RSS affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) organised a protest march of students in national capital Delhi on Tuesday to protest against the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal for its inaction in the crime against women in West Bengal's Sandeshkhali.

Bengal Govt moves SC

West Bengal Govt moved the Supreme Court of India against Calcutta High Court order directing CBI probe in Sandeshkhali matter. The matter was mentioned before a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta by senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for the West Bengal government, seeking an urgent hearing.

The Supreme Court bench refused an urgent listing of the plea and asked Singhvi to mention the matter before the Registrar General of the top court.

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Published: 05 Mar 2024, 03:13 PM IST
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