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‘Cases 2-3 years old’: Bengal Police says Sheikh Shahjahan has been arrested for assault on ED, not Sandeshkhali complaints of rape and sexual assault

On sexual assault complaints, the ADG said that there were many cases and most of them happened around two years back so investigation will take time. "Many cases after February 7,8,9, those came up then, pertain to incidents that happened 2,3 years back. So investigating them, gathering evidence takes time," Supratim Sarkar said. 

West Bengal police said on Thursday that Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sheikh Shahjahan’s arrest was in connection with an assault on officers of the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) during a raid in January this year. 

“Sheikh Shahjahan, one of the principal accused in a case which happened on January 5, 2024, where ED officers were assaulted during the course of a raid they were conducting,” South Bengal ADG Supratim Sarkar said during a press conference following the arrest. 

On complaints under Section 354, the ADG said, “In this case the complaint did not pertain to 354.” He further said that Shahjahan will be produced in Basirhat court today. 

“We arrested him yesterday night from Minakha Police area. We have forwarded Sheikh Shahjahan to Basirhat court. We will ask for police remand,” the ADG said. 

On sexual assault complaints, the ADG said that there were many cases and most of them happened around two years back so investigation will take time. “Many cases after February 7,8,9, those came up then, pertain to incidents that happened 2,3 years back. So investigating them, gathering evidence takes time,” Supratim Sarkar said. 

Sheikh Shahjahan was arrested by West Bengal police on Thursday morning in connection with allegations against him in ongoing cases. He had been evading arrest by both state and central agencies for over a month. 

Shahjahan’s arrest comes three days after the Calcutta High Court Chief Justice ordered to add Sheikh Shahjahan’s name to the Sandeshkhali case. 

BJP’s Amit Malviya hit out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after Shahjahan’s arrest saying that the state government had been left with no option but to arrest him. Naming TMC leaders for similar cases, Malviya alleged that they ‘run similar reign of terror because they deliver votes to Mamata Banerjee’. 

“After defending Shahjahan Sheikh on the floor of West Bengal Assembly, a red faced Mamata Banerjee, left with no option, finally allowed WB Police to arrest the TMC leader, accused of sexual violence, murder, land grab and assault on government officials in #Sandeshkhali,” Malviya said in a post on X. 

“Shahjahan’s arrest, more than 50 days after he went in the hiding, a day before the PM arrives in Bengal and post Calcutta High Court’s tough stricture, raises several questions on Mamata Banerjee’s predatory politics,” the post stated. 

“Shahjahan Sheikh is not the only criminal in TMC’s rank. There are people like Saokat Molla, Jahangir Khan etc, who run similar reign of terror, with the support of WB Police, without fear of consequences, because they deliver votes to Mamata Banerjee,” he said. 

He alleged that women are not safe in Bengal under Mamata further demanding her removal. 

“It is obvious that Bengal is not safe under Mamata Banerjee, the women in particular. She needs to be ousted from power,” Malviya said. 

Sandeshkhali in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district had witnessed widespread protests against TMC strongman Shahjahan Sheikh this month as a section of women were seeking justice against alleged atrocities committed by the TMC leader. A large number of women in Sandeshkhali had accused Shajahan Sheikh and his close aides of “land-grab and sexual assault” under coercion.

(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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