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Bengal: ED raids 6 locations linked to TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan in land grabbing case, properties in Howrah and Sandeshkhali searched

On one similar search operation conducted on January 5, the ED officials were attacked while on their way to carry out raids at Shahjahan and fellow TMC leader Shankar Adhya's residences in the North 24 Parganas district.

 The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is conducting raids at nearly half-a-dozen locations in West Bengal in its fresh ongoing investigation against absconding Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan in connection with the alleged land-grabbing case.

The raids are still underway at the premises of the TMC leader and other suspects in the case. The agency conducted these raids a day after it issued fresh summons to Shahjahan to join investigation on February 29.

As per agency sources, these raids are part of a new Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) linked with Shahjahan in land grabbing matter.

Accompanied by central forces, the ED officials launched the search operation since early morning.

Last month, the federal agency also conducted two separate raids on multiple location on different dates in connection with Public Distribution System (PDS) scam case. Those places included the residence of Shahjahan’s residence in Sandeshkhali.

The agency is learnt to have conducted raids at the properties of a West Bengal businessman associated with Shahjahan. The searches took place at his home in Howrah and at other sites in Sandeshkhali.

Many women in Sandeshkhali, located in the North 24 Parganas district, have made allegations against the influential figure Shajahan and his associates from the Trinamool Congress, accusing them of land grabbing and sexual assault under duress. A significant protest is currently taking place in Sandeshkhali, calling for his arrest.

On one similar search operation conducted on January 5, the ED officials were attacked while on their way to carry out raids at Shahjahan and fellow TMC leader Shankar Adhya’s residences in the North 24 Parganas district.

Nearly 200 locals, believed to be supporters of the TMC leader, encircled the officials and armed paramilitary forces then, preventing them from raiding Shahjahan’s residence. Two ED officials were injured in the incident.

The incident led to a political blame game, with the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders criticising state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s government raising questions over law and order situation, while the TMC blamed the agency for provoking the locals.

The incident led the Ministry of Home Affairs to seek a detailed report from the West Bengal government regarding the attacks.

Shahjahan continues to evade capture, with both state police and Central agencies unable to locate him. Recently, the Calcutta High Court instructed a collaborative Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and West Bengal Police to investigate an assault on Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials in Sandeshkhali.

The SIT, consisting of personnel from both agencies, has been mandated to present its findings by February 12, as per the Court’s directive.

(This news report is published from a syndicated feed. Except for the headline, the content has not been written or edited by OpIndia staff)

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