Sheikh Shahjahan Arrested 55 Days After Attack On ED Sleuths


(MENAFN- IANS) Kolkata, Feb 29 (IANS) Fifty-five days after the orchestrated attack on the Enforcement Directorate and Central Armed Police Forces personnel in Sandeshkhali, the absconding mastermind of the attack and local Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan has been arrested by the state police.

Although the state police are tight-lipped on the exact time and place of the arrest, coincidentally the arrest comes a day after the Calcutta High Court Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam observed on Wednesday that any investigating agency, state or central, is empowered to arrest Shahjahan, against whom complaints about oppression of local people have been piling for the last few years.

Incidentally, on Wednesday, the leader of the opposition in West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, commented that the Trinamool leader was in the safe custody of 'Mamata Police' since Tuesday midnight.

As per the latest information available, Shahjahan has been kept at a lockup within the premises of the Basirhat Sub-divisional court, where he will be presented this morning after the court operations resume.

The state administration was under pressure for quite some time over Shahjahan remaining absconding as there were all-round criticism of him being deliberately sheltered by the state police following several local persons in Sandeshkhali claiming to have seen him in and around North 24 Parganas district.

Even a section of the Trinamool Congress leadership started claiming that the state police were unable to arrest him because of a stay on his arrest by the Calcutta High Court. However, Justice Sivangnanam, consecutively on Tuesday and Wednesday clarified that there was no stay on his arrest and the stay was just on the formation of a joint investigation committee of CBI and the state police in investigating the matter of attack on ED and CAPF sleuths.

Political observers feel that after Justice Sivangnanam, on Wednesday, made it clear that his arrest was the business of any agency, state and central, the state police came under immense pressure to act promptly in arresting him.

Sandeshkhali had been on the boil for the last few weeks with the local people, especially women, hitting the streets protesting against the oppression, including sexual harassment, by Shahjahan and his associates for the last so many years.

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