TMC claims credit for Shahjahan Sheikh's arrest; BJP dubs it scripted

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Shajahan Sheikh Calcutta High Court

Shahjahan Sheikh (File photo)

Kolkata: Even as the Calcutta High Court on directed police to arrest Sandeshkhali horror accused Sheikh Shahjahan, Mamata Banerjee government waited for more clarification as to who will arrest him.


On Wednesday, the high court said that Sheikh can be arrested by the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) or the West Bengal Police.

Left with no further excuses to protect the alleged henchman of Mamata Banerjee, Bengal Police arrested Sheikh on Thursday.

However, the ruling Trinamool Congress was quick to claim credit in order to save its face.


TMC said that the arrest of Sheikh, accused of torturing villagers in trouble-torn Sandeshkhali area, was possible only after the court cleared the decks.

"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.

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


"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.

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.

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.