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regular-article-logo Sunday, 14 April 2024

Shahjahan not replying to questions, says not responsible for attack on ED officials: CID

Sheikh Shahjahan had been arrested on Thursday and remanded in police custody for 10 days by a court in Basirhat. The former Trinamul Congress leader from Sandeshkhali was brought to the headquarters of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at Bhabani Bhavan in Alipore on Thursday afternoon

Kinsuk Basu Calcutta Published 02.03.24, 11:50 AM
Shahjahan after his arrest on Thursday.

Shahjahan after his arrest on Thursday. Picture by Pashupati Das

Sheikh Shahjahan has turned out to be a hard nut to crack, said a senior police officer, as the Sandeshkhali strongman purportedly evaded answers during interrogation or insisted that he wasn’t involved in the attack on the Enforcement Directorate (ED) team.

Shahjahan had been arrested on Thursday and remanded in police custody for 10 days by a court in Basirhat, North 24-Parganas. The former Trinamul Congress leader was brought to the headquarters of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at Bhabani Bhavan in Alipore on Thursday afternoon.

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The karmadhyaksha at the North 24-Parganas zilla parishad spent mostly a sleepless night and post-breakfast, the man who allegedly ran a reign of terror in Sandeshkhali largely remained defiant.

“Shahjahan isn’t replying to most of the questions and has stuck to his claim that he wasn’t responsible for the January 5 attack on ED officials,” said a senior CID officer. “We still have time and hope he will break down soon.”

A majority of senior CID officers remained tightlipped about the developments even as security around the building where Shahjahan was lodged was tightened.

Shahjahan was arrested in a case of attempt to murder, rioting and robbery in the aftermath of the alleged attack on the ED team outside his Sarberia house in Sandeshkhali on January 5.

Three ED officers were injured in the attack which didn’t spare accompanying journalists and CRPF personnel either.

The CID has summoned the ED’s deputy director, Gaurav Bharill, who lodged the complaint against Shahjahan. Bharill was asked to depose before the CID on March 3.

“We want to record his statements and want to know whether the ED team visiting Shahjahan's house had tried calling him when they found the door locked and if there are reasons for the officer to believe that the attack was coordinated,” the CID sleuth said.

The ED claimed a preliminary probe had revealed that Shahjahan had used his two mobile phones to make over 20 calls ahead of the search and seizure operation by the team of the central agency on January 5.

“The mobile phones were busy for a few minutes around the time when the ED officials came knocking on his door early in the morning and the calls were allegedly made to Shahjahan's supporters,” said an ED official.

The role of Sirajuddin, popularly known as Siraj doctor in Sandeshkhali, is also being probed by the CID. The investigators want to know what his exact location was when the ED officers were attacked and whom he called immediately after the incident.

ISF leader held

Police on Friday arrested Indian Secular Front (ISF) leader Jubi Saha for allegedly inciting unrest in Sandeshkhali. Saha was picked up from her friend Natasha Khan’s house in New Town.

“Jubi has been arrested on charges of spreading violence and fuelling false accusations in the Sandeshkhali area,” a senior police officer said.

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