Sandeshkhali: Court Grants ED Custody of Shahjahan Sheikh till Apr 13

A court in Kolkata (West Bengal) has granted 13 days’ Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody of Shajahan Sheikh, who was apprehended by the central agency in connection with a money laundering case related to alleged siphoning of funds in the guise of pisciculture business in Sandeshkhali.

The presently suspended Trinamool Congress leader was detained by the ED on Saturday at Basirhat jail, where he is detained in connection with a case of mob assault on the agency’s officials during their search of his premises in Sandeshkhali on January 5 regarding another money laundering case. Dismissing Sheikh’s bail plea, PMLA Court Judge Suvendu Saha granted ED custody until April 13.

Advocate Arijit Chakrabarti, representing the agency before the court, prayed for Shajahan Sheikh’s ED custody to interrogate him regarding the alleged siphoning of money derived from land grabbing from hapless villagers under the guise of a pisciculture business. On January 5, ED officials were assaulted by a mob of nearly 1,000 people when they attempted to search Sheikh’s premises at Sarberia village in Sandeshkhali, North 24 Parganas district, in connection with a ration distribution scam case.

This case led to the arrest of a then-minister by the agency. Jyotipriya Mallick served as the state’s forest minister and held the Food and Supplies portfolio from 2011 to 2021. Following an order from the Calcutta High Court, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is investigating the assault case, wherein Sheikh stands accused of orchestrating the mob attack on the ED officials to obstruct their raid on his premises.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte