West Bengal challenges CBI probe into Shahjahan Sheikh's attack on ED officers before Supreme Court

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The West Bengal Police had finally arrested the absconding TMC leader on February 29, after he evaded authorities for around two months

The West Bengal government has approached the Supreme Court challenging the Calcutta High Court order from yesterday directing a CBI probe against TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh for attacking officers of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Senior Advocate AM Singhvi mentioned the plea against today before a bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta. Court went on to ask the senior counsel to mention the plea before Chief Justice of India.

On March 4, the Calcutta High Court had intervened in the ongoing case involving arrested Sheikh, asking the West Bengal Police to 'stay its hands' on the investigation, in relation to the alleged attack on officers of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) by Sheikh's followers.

The court, led by Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam alongside justice Hiranmay Bhattacharyya, ordered the State Police to halt their investigation into the incident until a decision is made on ‘Whether the State Police or the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) should continue the probe’.

On January 5 supporters of Shajahan Sheikh, local leader of the Trinamool Congress, attack a team of Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials in Sandeshkhali, North 24 Parganas district. The ED team was there to investigate Sheikh in connection with alleged irregularities in the public distribution system, tied to former state minister Jyoti Priya Mallick. 

Sheikh is also the prime accused in various crimes including sexual assault and land grabbing in Sandeshkhali, leading to considerable unrest in the region. Shahjahan Sheikh remains elusive since the January 5 attack, facing allegations of land grab and sexual harassment in Sandeshkhali. 

A significant number of women in Sandeshkhali have accused Trinamool Congress strongman Shajahan Sheikh and his supporters of “land-grab and sexual assault” under coercion. Shahjahan continues to evade arrest, with both state police and central agencies unable to trace him.