TMC says Bengal police arrested Shajahan after court cleared the decks; BJP dubs it scripted

PTI | Kolkata | Updated: 29-02-2024 08:25 IST | Created: 29-02-2024 08:25 IST
TMC says Bengal police arrested Shajahan after court cleared the decks; BJP dubs it scripted
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The ruling Trinamool Congress on Thursday hailed the arrest of absconding party leader Shajahan Sheikh, accused of torturing villagers in trouble-torn Sandeshkhali area, and said it was possible only after the court cleared the decks and accused the opposition of exploiting the earlier ''embargo'' on his arrest.

The BJP dubbed the arrest as scripted and claimed he was in the safe custody of West Bengal Police.

Sheikh, accused of alleged sexual atrocities on women and land grabbing in West Bengal's Sandeshkhali, was arrested on Thursday morning, police said.

He was arrested from a house at Minakhah in North 24 Parganas district where he was hiding, they said.

''Due to a legal tangle, he couldn't be arrested initially. However, after the court clarified that there was no stay on his arrest, the West Bengal Police did its job. The opposition had earlier exploited the embargo on his arrest,'' TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh told PTI.

The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday directed that Sheikh can be arrested by the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) or the West Bengal Police.

On Monday, the high court had directed police to arrest Sheikh, following which the state's ruling party asserted that it does not shield culprits and he would be arrested within seven days.

''We had said he would be arrested in seven days as we were confident of the ability of the state police,'' he said.

The opposition BJP, which had claimed that Sheikh was in ''safe custody'' of state police since Tuesday night, dubbed the arrest as scripted.

''It was TMC and the state police which were shielding the culprits. He has been arrested now as a part of a well-scripted story,'' BJP state spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said.

The riverine Sandeshkhali area -- situated on the borders of the Sundarbans, about 100 kilometres from Kolkata -- has been on the boil for more than a month with protests over allegations of sexual abuse and land grab against local TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh, who is absconding, and his supporters.

The unrest in the area stems from accusations against Sheikh and his supporters of land grabbing and sexual assault with the local TMC strongman evading authorities since a mob attack on Enforcement Directorate officials on January 5.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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