ANI Photo | Calcutta HC orders transfer of Sandeshkhali case to CBI, Sheikh Shahjahan to be in CBI custody

The Calcutta High Court has transferred the Sandehskhali case, in which officials from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) were allegedly attacked by locals, to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The Chief Justice Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court has also ordered to hand over the custody of suspended Trinamool Congress (TMC) strongman Sheikh Shahjahan to the CBI.
The Division Bench also set aside an earlier order constituting a Special Investigation Team (SIT) on the attack on ED officials. It has also been ordered to hand over two cases registered at the Nazat Poilce Station and one case at Bongaon Police Station against Shahjahan to the CBI.
The High Court ordered the West Bengal Police to hand over Sheikh Shahjahan and all related enquiry documents to the CBI by 4:30 pm on Tuesday.
“The accused who has been apprehended on 29th February, 2024 after being on the run for more than 50 days is not an ordinary citizen. He is an elected representative of the public, holding the highest office in a Zilla Parishad, he was fielded as the candidate at the elections held for the said post by the political party which is ruling dispensation,” the High Court bench led by Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam noted.
“Thus, it has become imperative and absolutely necessary for doing complete justice and enforcing the fundamental rights of the public in general and the public of the locality that the cases be transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation for investigation and to proceed further,” it added.
“The custody of the accused Sk. Shahjahan shall also forthwith be handed over to CBI. This direction shall be implemented by 4:30 P.M. today (05.03.2024). No costs. Connected applications stand disposed of,” it further said.
Shahjahan was arrested by West Bengal Police on Thursday morning in connection with an alleged assault on ED officers during a raid in January earlier this year.
After his arrest, the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claimed that Shahjahan has been put under the hospitality of the state police in a bid to avoid arrest by the ED and the CBI.
Taking a dig at the TMC government and West Bengal Police over the arrest of absconding strongman and Sandeshkhali accused Sheikh Shahjahan, and, his 10-day remand, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Sudhanshu Trivedi on Thursday said he has been put under the ‘mehman-nawazi’ (hospitality) of the state police in a bid to avoid arrest by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) and the CBI.
Addressing a press briefing at the BJP headquarters in the national capital on Thursday, Trivedi said, “After being reported missing and untraceable for close to two months, Sheikh Shahjahan was arrested all of a sudden. However, no charges have been pressed against him for perpetrating atrocities on the women of Sandeshkhali and sending them inappropriate messages. It is evident that he was arrested under pressure from the high court (which cleared his arrest by the ED, CBI or state police) and the spontaneous uprising in Sandeshkhali, much against the wishes of the ruling party.”
Sandeshkhali in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district has been witnessing widespread protests against Sheikh since February as a section of women are seeking justice against alleged atrocities committed by the TMC leader.
A large number of women in Sandeshkhali has accused Shajahan Sheikh and his close aides of “land-grab and sexual assault” under coercion

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