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TMC’s Sheikh Shahjahan arranged goons over phone to orchestrate the attack on ED officials at Sandeshkhali: CBI tells court

On January 5, the day the attack was carried out, Shahjahan had spoken to Ziauddin Molla and Didarbux Molla over the phone to orchestrate the act.

On Thursday, March 28, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) informed the district court that TMC strongman Sheikh Shahjahan, who had masterminded the attack on ED officials on 5 January this year, had gathered goons to carry out the attack over the phone.

The admission was made before the Basirhat sub-divisional court, where Sheikh Shahjahan was produced on Thursday on the expiry of his CBI custody.

During the hearing, the counsel representing the CBI named two persons, namely Ziauddin Molla and Didarbux Molla. It was said that on January 5, the day the attack was carried out, Shahjahan had spoken to these two men over the phone to orchestrate the act.

The ED had earlier asserted, citing the call logs of Shahjahan’s two cellphones, that on January 5, when its officers and CAPF personnel were attacked by more than a thousand goons, Shahjahan was at his home.

On Thursday, the CBI counsel also requested to record the statements of three people in the case.

According to sources, the three people voluntarily consented to have their statements recorded, stating that the state police had wrongly implicated them to shield Shahjahan and his associates.

Notably, a total of 3 FIRs were lodged against him in two cases of assault against ED officials and CAPF personnel. On March 10, the CBI included ‘attempt to murder’ in two FIRs filed against Sheikh Shahjahan under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 307. The FIRs were submitted at the Basirhat Sub-Divisional Court in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal.

On Friday (8th March), the CBI concluded a search at the residence of Sheikh Shahjahan.

Last month, Sheikh Shahjahan reportedly admitted to encouraging a crowd to attack an Enforcement Directorate team in January this year.

Sandeshkhali horror

On 8th February this year, hundreds of women in Sandeshkhali took to the streets to protest against land grabbing, non-payment of wages and sexual violence committed by Trinamool Congress goon Sheikh Shahjahan and his two aides Shiba Prasad Hazra and Uttam Sardar.

The women attacked Shahjahan’s illicitly obtained properties and set fire to a poultry farm owned by Shiba Prasad Hazra. They also surrounded the Sandeshkali police station and demanded the immediate arrest of the trio. The agitation in the village lasted for 3 days.

During that time, the TMC goons retaliated and the police acted as mute spectators. In several cases, the cops themselves resorted to harassment of the women. It had come to light that the residents were the subject of sexual violence by the TMC for a long time.

In a bid to pacify the angry villagers of Sandeshkhali, the TMC leadership suspended Uttam Sardar from the party for six years. The suspended TMC leader and Zilla Parishad member was subsequently arrested in the Sandeshkhali police station area on 10th February 2024.

On 17th February, the police arrested TMC leader Shibu Prasad Hazra over land grabbing and sexual exploitation of women in Sandeshkhali. 

After large-scale protests and intervention of the Calcutta High Court, the primary accused Sheikh Shahjahan who had been at large for 55 days, was eventually arrested by the authorities in Minakhan, North 24 Parganas district on Thursday (29th February). During interrogation, the 53-year-old acknowledged that he was involved in the 5th January attack on the officials of the national agency who were searching his property as part of a ration scam investigation at Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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