Police make first arrests in links with attack on ED officials in West Bengal

The arrested, identified as Mehaboob Mollah and Sukomal Sardar, were produced before a court and were sent to police custody for three days.

West Bengal police on Friday arrested two persons in connection with the attack on an Enforcement Directorate (ED) team during a raid at the house of Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader in the state’s Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district last week.

Security personnel stand guard at the site where vehicles of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) team were attacked during a raid in West Bengal's Sandeshkhali(ANI)
Security personnel stand guard at the site where vehicles of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) team were attacked during a raid in West Bengal’s Sandeshkhali(ANI)

The arrested, identified as Mehaboob Mollah and Sukomal Sardar, were produced before a court and were sent to three-day police custody, the police added.

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The police identified them after examining the footage of the attack. “Based on various video footage, today we have arrested the two persons,” Basirhat SP Joby Thomas told news agency PTI.

Probe agency earlier this week claimed that the state police lodged an FIR under bailable and non-scheduled offences in the assault incident and had not provided a copy of the complaint to the ED.

However, the police lodged a suo motu case against the ED officers, on the charges of molestation, forcible entrance and theft.

Meanwhile, TMC Leader Shahjahan Sheikh’s family filed a complaint alleging that the ED raided their residence without prior notice and broke locks to gain entry. Meanwhile, the probe agency issued a lookout notice for Sheikh as there are apprehensions that he might flee the country following the assault incident. It also lodged a complaint against Sheikh and his supporters for assaulting its officers.

Several members of the probe agency were attacked and its vehicles were damaged in Sandeshkhali on January 5 when it arrived to raid the house of TMC leaders Shahjahan Sheikh and Shankar Adhya, and their relatives in connection with the alleged ration scam.

A huge number of TMC members and supporters gheraoed the ED officials upon their arrival and were roughed up. The officers were forced to leave their damaged vehicles behind and take autorickshaws and two-wheelers to safety. Three ED officials were injured in the attack.

Sheikh, considered a close aide of state minister Jyotipriyo Mallick who was arrested in connection with the multi-crore ration distribution scam, is still on the run.

The ED claimed that the magnitude of the ration distribution scam was “enormous” and proceeds of crime transferred by a suspect amount to ₹9,000-10,000 crore, out of which ₹2,000 crore are “suspected to be transferred to Dubai either directly or through Bangladesh.

(With inputs from agencies)

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