West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose has expressed worries that TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh, who is the main suspect in the assault case on ED officials, may have "crossed the border". He has ordered the authorities to apprehend him without delay and probe his purported links with terrorists.
The ruling TMC strongly criticised his comments on Sunday (7 January), which suggested that Sheikh is associated with terrorists, a per The Hindu report.
The late-night announcement from Raj Bhavan on Friday emphasised that the Governor, after receiving a grievance in the Peace Room, directed the head of police to immediately apprehend the offender.
"On receipt of a complaint in the Peace Room of Raj Bhavan that Shahjahan Sheikh is supported by some political leaders with the connivance of some police officers, Hon'ble Governor instructed the Police chief to arrest the culprit forthwith and report compliance," the statement said.
The Governor stressed the importance of determining Sheikh's location and implementing suitable measures. The statement added that the accusation suggesting. Sheikh might have "crossed the border" and "liaison with the terrorists" should be promptly investigated.
In reaction to the Governor's statement, Kunal Ghosh, the spokesperson for TMC, expressed confusion about the foundation of his comments. He pointed out that the Governor, as per the Constitution, operates in collaboration with the State Government. Therefore, Ghosh questioned the legitimacy of the Governor's comments, given the absence of any substantial report or evidence. He further emphasized that the Governor's role does not involve managing an alternative government.
In the midst of a political storm surrounding an attack on an Enforcement Directorate (ED) team in West Bengal, both the family of the TMC leader and the Central agency lodged police complaints against each other on Saturday. These complaints stemmed from a raid where ED officials were assaulted and injured by a crowd.
A case was independently initiated by the police against the Enforcement Directorate officers involved in carrying out the raid linked to the purported ration distribution fraud. The accusations against them encompassed molestation, unlawful entry, and theft.
The ED has put out a lookout notice for Sheikh, fearing he may leave the country after an incident where a mob injured three ED officers and damaged several vehicles at Sandeshkhali, located in the North 24 Parganas district near the Bangladesh border, last Friday.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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