Sandeshkhali Case: After HC Rap, TMC Says Shahjahan Will Be Arrested In 7 Days

Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court said on Monday that Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sheikh Shahjahan, who is facing allegations of sexual assault of women and land-grabbing in Sandeshkhali, will have to be arrested.

“We will clarify that there is no stay on arrest. A stay on investigation doesn’t mean stay on arrest. There is an FIR registered, he is branded as an accused. He will have to be arrested,” a division bench of Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharyya said, reported Bar and Bench.

A day earlier, influential TMC leader and MP Abhishek Banerjee had claimed that the judiciary, and not his party, was to blame for lack of action against Shahjahan, who has been absconding for 52 days. The court, Abhishek said, had “tied the hands of police.”

Soon after the high court made the position clear on Shahjahan, TMC said the North 24 Parganas strongman will be arrested within seven days.

TMC’s state general secretary Kunal Ghosh and West Bengal minister Bratya Basu made the seven-day claim during an interaction with the media.

“Thanks to the High Court today for clarifying the matter and allowing the police to take action. Shahjahan will be arrested within seven days,” Ghosh also wrote on X.

The two-member bench clarified that the high court had only stayed a single judge’s order to constitute a special investigation team (SIT) to probe allegations that Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials were attacked when they had gone to Sandeshkhali to conduct raids at Shahjahan’s house on January 5.

Local residents of the island village have come out with multiple accusations against Shahjahan and his aides over the past five-six weeks.

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