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Sandeshkhali: Sheikh Shahjahan Suspended For 6 Years; Anurag Thakur Slams CM Banerjee Over 'Jungle Raaj'

The suspension by Trinamool Congress (TMC) came amid escalating tension following Sheikh Shahjahan's arrest over the Sandeshkhali land grabbing and sexual offence cases this morning.

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Sheikh Shahjahan, the accused in Sandeshkhali violence case | Photo: PTI
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Amid escalating tension following TMC strongman Sheikh Shahjahan's arrest this morning, Trinamool Congress (TMC) suspended him for six years. Sheikh has been accused of sexual abuse and land grab in Sandeshkhali.

What did TMC say?

Within hours since the Sandeshkhali violence mastermind got arrested, TMC leader Derek O'Brien took it to X (formerly Twitter) and said,"We have decided to suspend Shajahan Sheikh from the party for 6 years. As always, we walk the talk. We have set examples in the past, and we are doing that today.

"But we dare the BJP to suspend leaders, who have corruption cases against them and have several criminal cases against them," O'Brien said at a press conference.

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Anurag Thakur's 'Jungle Raaj' Remark

Lashing out at Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Union minister Anurag Thakur on Thursday alleged there was a ‘jungle raaj’ (misrule) in the state.

“Everyone has seen the 'Jungle Raaj' of West Bengal. Sandeshkhali's 'sandesh' has reached everyone that in Mamata Banerjee's rule, there is 'Jungle Raaj' and how atrocities are being done against women", Thakur quoted.

“The women seeking justice are forced to come on streets. But they have to bear the lathis of police, their voices are brutally suppressed and nobody listens to them. When they approach the court, the government backs those committing atrocities against women and evading law,” Thakur added.

Questioning the delay in the arrest, Thakur said, “What was Mamata Banerjee's compulsion behind letting this individual roam freely instead of being arrested? Why does she protect those who rape women and are accused of corruption?” the minister added.

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Police apprehends Shahjahan on Thursday

After being on the run for 55 days, Sheikh was arrested in the early hours of Thursday.

According to the Additional Director-General of Police (South Bengal) Supratim Sarkar, Sheikh was arrested from a house in Bamanpukur in Minakhan police station area, around 30 km away from the island of Sandeshkhali on the outskirts of Sunderbans, in North 24 Parganas district.Following the arrest, he was taken to the Basirhat court, which sent him to 10 days in police custody. At 10:40 AM, he came out of the lock-up around and walked to the courtroom with policemen behind him.

After the hearing, which lasted for barely two minutes, he returned to the lock-up. Later, he was taken to Bhabani Bhawan, the state police headquarters, in Kolkata as the CID took over the investigation.

"He has been brought to Bhabani Bhawan for questioning," an officer said.

Sheikh was taken in custody within 24 hours of the Calcutta High Court stating that the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) or the West Bengal Police can arrest him.

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