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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 29 May 2024

Separate CBI teams reach various parts of Sandeshkhali to scan Sheikh Shahjahan complaints

Allegations of land grab and sexual assault had triggered widespread protests on Sandeshkhali island in February

Kinsuk Basu Calcutta Published 21.04.24, 10:25 AM
Sheikh Shahjahan

Sheikh Shahjahan File picture

Separate CBI teams reached various parts of Sandeshkhali on Saturday morning and verified with villagers some of the complaints of alleged land grab and sexual assault that the agency had received over the past few days.

Till just about a week ago, the CBI had received a little over 200 complaints of land grab and outraging of modesty in Sandeshkhali against Sheikh Shahjahan, his brother Alamgir and their aides, including Shibu Hazra and Uttam Sardar.

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The complaints were sent to an email created for the purpose following a directive from Calcutta High Court. The allegations of land grab and sexual assault had triggered widespread protests on the Sandeshkhali island in February.

The Trinamool Congress suspended Shahjahan, a member of the North 24-Parganas zilla parishad, following the uprising. He was arrested by police later.

He was handed over to the CBI following an order by the high court.

Armed with the complaints, 10 CBI officers split into two teams on Saturday and went about visiting door to door to check with some of the villagers about what they had to say.

While one team visited the residences of some of the victims in the Sundarikhali area, the other went to the Sandeshkhali police station to scrutinise a few of the complaints that the villagers had lodged earlier but were allegedly not acted upon.

Mahamaya Halder, whom the CBI sleuths called on at his home in Sarberia-Agarhati gram panchayat, had alleged that Shahjahan and his aides had forcibly taken away his family’s land parcels.

“We spoke to several villagers and recorded their statements based on the complaints they had lodged. This is the preliminary step of the probe. Subsequently, separate cases will be clubbed and specific cases drawn up against the accused,” said a senior CBI official.

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