Arrested Trinamool strongman Sheikh Shahjahan suspended for 6 years by party

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'Mamata Banerjee's Raj Dharma Example': Trinamool Suspends Sheikh Shahjahan

A day after Sandeshkhali strongman Sheikh Shahjahan was arrested in connection with the mob attack on an Enforcement Directorate (ED) team, Trinamool Congress suspended him from the party for six years.

In a press meet to announce the move, the party’s leaders slammed the BJP and dared it to act against tainted leaders in its ranks.

Senior party leader Derek O’Brien said the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress stands by the people and takes “no nonsense, whoever you are”. “If you have hurt or are alleged to have hurt the people, we walk the talk,” he said.

Bengal minister Bratya Basu questioned why the BJP has not acted against leaders such as Himanta Biswa Sarma despite several allegations against them. “The BJP is not Trinamool Congress that it will suspend a leader as soon as he is arrested. Because the other name of BJP is washing machine. So if someone from our party is suspended and then seen in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally, we won’t be surprised,” he said.

The Trinamool leader said that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had told Calcutta High Court to stop Bengal police from arresting Sheikh Shahjahan, who was on the run for 55 days. “They wanted to keep the Sandeshkhali issue alive till the Prime Minister’s Bengal trip. After our leader Abhishek Banerjee’s remark on the high court’s stay and the court’s clarification, we went ahead and arrested Sheikh Shahjahan,” the minister said. “Only Trinamool Congress can set such an example.” The minister said the people must remember the example of “raj dharma” set by Ms Banerjee.

Trinamool MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar questioned why the ED did not arrest Shahjahan for so long.

Senior Trinamool leader Abhishek Banerjee had earlier claimed that a high court that paused the probe against the strongman had tied up the Bengal police’s hands. The court later clarified the state cops were free to arrest the strongman.

The Sandeshkhali strongman is at the centre of serious allegations levelled by residents of the island in North 24 Parganas district. The residents have accused Shahjahan and his aides of land grab and extortion. Charges of sexual harassment have also surfaced.

Shahjahan was on the run for 55 days, and the BJP had accused the ruling Trinamool of shielding him.¬†Following his arrest, Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari said it was a “mutual agreement” between the strongman and Bengal cops.¬†“Unless central agencies take him into their custody, people there won’t get justice,” he has said.

Sharing a video in which Shahjahan is seen entering a Bengal court, BJP leader Amit Malviya said Bengal police “is escorting Sheikh Shahjahan like they would escort CM Mamata Banerjee”.

“All these days, Sheikh Shahjahan was under the protection of WB Police. As soon as Calcutta High Court allowed ED and CBI to arrest Sheikh Shahjahan, Mamata Banerjee’s police took control of him,” he alleged.

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