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Business News/ Politics / News/  West Bengal: TMC leader Shibaprasad Hazra arrested in Sandeshkhali land grab and sexual harassment case
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West Bengal: TMC leader Shibaprasad Hazra arrested in Sandeshkhali land grab and sexual harassment case

Trinamool Congress leader Shibaprasad Hazra is arrested in Sandeshkhali, West Bengal, for alleged land grab and sexual harassment. This marks the second key arrest, but the main accused, Shajahan Sheikh, remains at large.

Kolkata, Feb 17 (ANI): All India Mahila Congress President Alka Lamba takes a selfie with the party supporters as she arrives to address a press conference on the Sandeshkhali violence, in Kolkata on Saturday. (ANI Photo) (Utpal Sarkar)Premium
Kolkata, Feb 17 (ANI): All India Mahila Congress President Alka Lamba takes a selfie with the party supporters as she arrives to address a press conference on the Sandeshkhali violence, in Kolkata on Saturday. (ANI Photo) (Utpal Sarkar)

Local Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Shibaprasad Hazra has been arrested in connection with the alleged land grab and sexual harassment case in Sandeshkhali, West Bengal. This marks the second key arrest in the case, following the earlier apprehension of Uttam Sardar. However, the main accused, Shajahan Sheikh, remains absconding.

Hazra, named in the initial complaints alongside Sheikh and Sardar, was apprehended on Saturday from a hideout in Sandeshkhali. He will be produced before a local court on Sunday. With this development, two out of the three prime suspects are now in police custody.

Authorities have also arrested a total of 18 individuals in connection with the case. Furthermore, following a survivor's statement under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure before a magistrate, the police have expanded the charges to include Sections 376D (gangrape) and 307 (attempt to murder).

Tensions have simmered in Sandeshkhali since January, when villagers erupted in protests demanding the arrest of Sheikh and his associates. Accusations against them included forcibly acquiring land, pumping saltwater into fields to render them unusable, and engaging in sexual harassment. Sheikh went missing during an Enforcement Directorate raid investigating separate corruption charges.

The fresh arrest suggests progress in the investigation, though pressure remains on authorities to apprehend Sheikh and ensure justice for the victims. The inclusion of graver charges like gangrape and attempted murder underscores the seriousness of the accusations and further fuels public demands for a thorough investigation and swift legal action.

The case unfolding in Sandeshkhali, West Bengal, has captured widespread attention due to its egregious nature, involving allegations of land grab and sexual harassment. The initial complaints implicated three prime suspects: Shajahan Sheikh, Uttam Sardar, and Shibaprasad Hazra. 

Tensions in the area escalated in January when villagers took to the streets in protest, demanding justice and the apprehension of the accused. The allegations against the suspects ranged from forcibly acquiring land to pumping saltwater into fields and engaging in sexual harassment. Amidst the turmoil, Sheikh disappeared during an Enforcement Directorate raid, complicating the investigation further and intensifying public outrage.

Despite the mounting pressure, authorities have made significant strides in the case, with the recent arrest of Shibaprasad Hazra marking a crucial development. With Hazra's apprehension, two out of the three prime suspects are now in police custody, yet the main accused, Shajahan Sheikh, remains elusive. 

The expansion of charges to include severe offenses like gangrape and attempted murder underscores the gravity of the accusations and emphasizes the need for a thorough investigation to ensure justice for the victims. As the case continues to unfold, the community awaits further developments while urging authorities to expedite efforts to locate Sheikh and hold all perpetrators accountable.

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Published: 17 Feb 2024, 08:31 PM IST
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