Sandeshkhali ED

1. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducts searches at locations linked to suspended TMC MLA Sheikh Shahjahan.
2. Raids focus on Sheikh Shahjahan’s brick kiln in Sandeshkhali, North 24 Parganas district, West Bengal.
3. The operation follows allegations of land grab against Sheikh Shahjahan and ongoing investigations.

Kolkata, March 14: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted searches at various locations in West Bengal’s Sandeshkhali associated with suspended Trinamool Congress MLA Sheikh Shahjahan, as reported on Thursday.

The raids primarily targeted a brick kiln owned by Sheikh Shahjahan in Sandeshkhali, located in the North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. These actions were undertaken in connection with a case involving alleged land grabbing linked to Sheikh Shahjahan.

Several teams from the central agency arrived in Sandeshkhali at around 6:30 am, accompanied by paramilitary personnel to carry out the searches.

This development follows a series of events, including searches conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials and forensic experts at Sheikh Shahjahan’s residence and a market he owns in Sandeshkhali on March 8.

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Sheikh Shahjahan, facing allegations of sexual violence and land grabbing in the village, was apprehended by the West Bengal Police on February 29.

He was subsequently handed over to the CBI on March 6 under orders from the Calcutta High Court, amid ongoing political tensions.

Sandeshkhali, a village in the North 24 Parganas district, has been embroiled in turmoil since January 5 when ED officers attempted to search Sheikh Shahjahan’s residence. The attempt resulted in a violent confrontation with a mob, injuring three ED officers.

Subsequent protests erupted on February 7 in Sandeshkhali and neighboring villages, with residents, especially women, alleging instances of sexual harassment involving local Trinamool Congress leaders, including Sheikh Shahjahan, his brother Sirajuddin, and associates Shibaprasad Hazra and Uttam Sardar. Additionally, accusations of land grabbing have been leveled against Shahjahan and his associates by residents of other villages.

Sheikh Shahjahan, a former TMC zila parishad leader, was arrested by the state police on February 29 following the directives of the high court. The case was later transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for further investigation.