Updated March 1st, 2024 at 08:29 IST

Sandeshkhali: TMC Refuses to Expel Sheikh Shahjahan, Suspends Him For 6 Years | Top Developments

Sheikh Shahjahan is the main accused in the sexual harassment cases of Sandeshkhali and also wanted for land grabbing and extortion.

Reported by: Shweta Parande
Sheikh Shahjahan was arrested today | Image:Republic

Sandeshkhali LIVE: In what can be called a cosmetic action by the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) government, Sheikh Shajahan, accused of sexual abuse, exploitation and land-grabbing in West Bengal’s Sandeshkhali, was on Thursday suspended from the party for six years. However, it is to be noted that Shahjahan has not been expelled permanently from TMC. Sheikh was arrested in the early hours of Thursday after being on the run for 55 days. 

In the period, Sandeshkhali witnessed violent protests led by the oppressed tribal women in North 24 Parganas district. Appearing before the Calcutta High Court, Sheikh's lawyer stated that an anticipatory bail plea made by him was rejected two days ago and four other applications were still pending before the courts. Catch all the live updates of Sandeshkhali here.


Sheikh Shahjahan Arrested | Top Developments in Sandeshkhali 

Shahjahan's close aide arrested from Jharkhand

Sheikh Shahjahan's close aide Aamir Ali Gazi has been arrested by West Bengal Police from Jharkhand, says SDPO Minakha Aminul Islam Khan. 

Bengal is a place of peace: TMC 

“According to NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau), there is peace (in West Bengal). They want to create violence. They demand CBI. They are doing it to create violence, create division in society. Bengal is a place of peace,” said TMC in a press conference after Sheikh Shahjahan’s arrest and suspension from the party for six years.


TMC suspends Shahjahan for 6 years, refuses to expel him

TMC has refused to expel Sandeshkhali prime accused Sheikh Shahjahan. The party has instead suspended him for a period of 6 years, indicating that the doors are open to him.


Section 144 in Sandeshkhali

Section 144 has been issued in 49 places of two blocks - including 23 new places - in Sandeshkhali by the district administration to maintain normal law and order situation. Section 144 will remain in force until March 3.

ED moves High Court

The Enforcement Directorate has moved the High Court in the Sheikh Shahjahan case, fearing tampering of evidence.

Hand over Shahjahan Sheikh to ED, says BJP

BJP national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said, ”Shahjahan Sheikh has been arrested by the West Bengal Police to protect him from ED and CBI. It is clear now that Shahjahan was being protected by Mamata Banerjee. Now, he will be put under mehman-nawazi (hospitality) of West Bengal Police."

Transfer case to CBI, demands Suvendu Adhikari

West Bengal Leader of Opposition and BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, who was stopped from reaching Sandeshkhali this morning, demanded the case be transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). “Transfer this case to CBI. The people of Sandeshkhali want justice. I have full faith in the judiciary that it will give justice to the people," he said. 


“On March 10, there will be a public meeting in Rajbari. Thousands of people will come,” he added.

Shahjahan Confesses to Inciting Mob

“On assuming that ED could arrest me, I called the people and ordered them to attack ED and CRPF jawans," confessed Sandeshkhali prime accused Sheikh Shahjahan in a statement given to the police after his arrest. The documents which have been presented by the police in the Court mention the confession of Sheikh Shahjahan. He confessed in the cross examination that he instructed people to gather his belongings so that the Enforcement Directorate couldn't investigate and carry on their raid.

Calcutta High Court pulls up lawyers of Shahjahan

The Calcutta High Court has pulled up lawyers of Sheikh Shahjahan, after his counsel approached the court. The Chief Justice said that there are 42 cases pending and the accused had been absconding for more than 20 days. “You have a vakalatnama means his whereabouts are known,” said the CJ. To which the counsel replied that the accused had been arrested. The High Court said, “Let him be arrested. For the next 10 years, this person will keep you very busy. You won't have any time for any other brief. 42 cases have been registered against him, he had been absconding as well. You come on Monday. We have got no sympathy for that person.”

CID to take over probe into cases against Shahjahan

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Government of India will take up the investigation of the attack on Enforcement Directorate officials during the raid on TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan. The CID officials will interrogate Sheikh Shahjahan at Bhawani Bhavan police headquarters, where he has been taken post his arrest and after being produced in court.

Sheikh Shahjahan taken to Bhawani Bhavan Police Headquarters

Sandeshkhali prime accused Sheikh Shahjahan, who was arrested on Wednesday night has been taken to Bhawani Bhavan Police Headquarters. He will be remanded to a 10-day police custody. Shahjahan was produced at the Basirhat Court earlier today.


BJP protests against Sandeshkhali incident

The BJP participated in fresh protests today against the Sandeshkhali incident in West Bengal. 


Calcutta High Court declines bail plea urgent hearing

The Calcutta High Court division bench has declined an urgent hearing to the West Bengal government's challenge of a single bench order vide which Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari was allowed to visit the restive Sandeshkhali. The single bench on Wednesday allowed BJP MLA Adhikari to visit Haldarpara in Jeliakhali village panchayat area of Sandeshkhali on Thursday. The state prayed for permission of the court to file an appeal challenging the single bench order and an urgent hearing of it. The division bench presided by Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam refused to grant an urgent hearing of the prayer saying that the court has better business to do. The court said that the state can file the appeal. With inputs from PTI.


Section 144 in Sandeshkhali

Section 144 has been issued at 23 new places in Sandeshkhali. It will remain in force until March 3.


Suvendu Adhikari stopped from entering Sandeshkhali again

West Bengal Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari was once again stopped from entering Sandeshkhali this morning. Adhikari was on the way to Sandeshkhali again today with BJP leader Shankar Ghosh.  


10-Day police custody for Sheikh Shahjahan

The West Bengal police have got 10-day custody of Sheikh Shahjahan. The Sandeshkhali case prime accused was arrested on Wednesday after being absconding for 55 days.


West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose on Sheikh Shahjahan Arrest

West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose said on the arrest of TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan, “Strong action has to be taken against Gundaraj. In democratic governance, we have to wait for justice. This is not a contempory phenomenon. In many pockets of Bengal, we all realise that gangsters are ruling unchecked by law enforcement agencies. What we see is only the tip of the iceberg. This has to be nipped in the bud."


Earlier today, the Governor said, "I told you there will be light at the end of the tunnel. That is democracy. We waited but it has been done. This is a lesson for everyone. Now, let's hope a new dawn of lawfulness will come back to Bengal...I am glad that good things are happening."

Exclusive First Visuals of Sheikh Shahjahan From Basirhat Court

Republic has accessed exclusive visuals of Sandeshkhali accused Sheikh Shahjahan, as he entered the Basirhat Court. Watch the video here:

Sheikh Shahjahan Arrest - IPC Sections Revealed 

Sandeshkhali prime accused Sheikh Shahjahan has been arrested and a first information report (FIR) has been filed under Sections 147, 148, 149, 323, 353, 427, 506, and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).


Heavy police force deployed at Basirhat Court

Heavy police force has been deployed in Basirhat Court where arrested Sandeshkhali prime accused Sheikh Shahjahan will be presented at 2 pm. 


Suvendu Adhikari leaves for Sandeshkhali

Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari, along with BJP MLA Shankar Ghosh, have left for Sandeshkhali post the arrest of prime accused Sheikh Shahjahan. The Calcutta High Court has allowed Suvendu Adhikari to visit Jeliakhalia and Haldarpara at Sandeshkhali in the North 24 Parganas district.


West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose on Sheikh Shahjahan Arrest

On the arrest of TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan, West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose said, "I told you there will be light at the end of the tunnel. That is democracy. We waited but it has been done. This is a lesson for everyone. Now, let's hope a new dawn of lawfulness will come back to Bengal...I am glad that good things are happening."


ADG S Sarkar confirms Sheikh Shahjahan arrest

ADG (South Bengal) Supratim Sarkar in a press conference this morning confirmed the arrest of Sheikh Shahjahan and said that the accused has been “forwarded to the Basirhat Court”. However, the ADG refused to reveal details of the whereabouts of Sheikh Shahjahan when he was arrested.


“We couldn't arrest Sheikh Shahjahan (earlier) because there was a stay order on the case lodged by ED. There was a stay on certain cases and particularly in this case also, in which he has been arrested. ED had applied to the High Court seeking a stay in the investigation. That prayer was granted by the High Court. So, we had legal compulsions to arrest him in that particular case. But a couple of days back, the High Court made it amply clear that there is no bar on arrest. Following that instruction, over the last two days, we had been holding raids, and last night - on the basis of secret source information - we arrested Sheikh Shahjahan and he has been forwarded to court,” said ADG Sarkar.

Sheikh Shahjahan to be produced in Court today 

Sheikh Shahjahan will be produced before the Basirhat Court at 2 pm today. Sheikh Shahjahan has been taken for medical examination.

Sheikh Shahjahan arrested

Sandeshkhali case prime accused Sheikh Shahjahan has been arrested after more than 50 days of being on the run. The arrest comes a day after the Calcutta High Court cleared his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The accused is wanted in cases of sexual harassment, exploitation and land-grabbing in Sandeshkhali.


Published February 29th, 2024 at 08:46 IST