Shahjahan arrest: Police justify late arrest, blame ED for inaction

Insight Online News

Kolkata, Feb 29 : A senior official of the West Bengal Police, on Thursday morning, justified the arrest of Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan 55 days after the attack on ED and CAPF officials by saying that there were legal hurdles from the court in accomplishing the task.

Virtually echoing the version of the ruling Trinamool Congress leadership that there were previous legal complications for the state police in arresting Shahjahan, the additional director general (south Bengal) Supratim Sarkar told media persons that after the hurdles got cleared following observations of the Calcutta High Court during the last two days, the police started their raid and search operations and finally arrested the accused person on late Wednesday night.

“Sheikh Shahjahan was arrested from the Bamanpukur area under Minakhan police station. He has been framed under the various sections of the Indian Penal Code. We will submit those to the Basirhat Sub-divisional court. We will also update the court on the exact place of that arrest. We will seek his police custody,” said the police officer.

During the media briefing, Supratim Sarkar also blamed the ED for not taking any initiative in arresting Sheikh Shahjahan. “The state police might have some legal hurdles. But the same was not the case with ED. So there is the question of why ED did not arrest him,” said Sarkar.

However, senior counsel of the Calcutta High Court Kaushik Gupta told IANS said that there is a technical and legal hurdle for ED to arrest Shahjahan in the cases for which he is wanted. “The cases for which he was wanted include provisions under the IPC. Now ED conducts investigation or arrests individuals under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and not IPC. So at least in the case of attack on their sleuths or other FIRs based on the complaints filed against him by the local villagers in Sandeshkhali, ED cannot initiate any action against him,” Gupta explained.

Meanwhile, Supratim Sarkar also blamed a section of the opposition for unnecessarily holding the police responsible in the matter.

“First of all, I will request the people of Sandeshkhali not to resort to something that will create division among the people in the area. Secondly, I would like to say that the manner in which some opposition leaders are raising certain accusations against the police is really painful for us. It will be wise not to do such things,” Sarkar said.

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