Sandeshkhali unrest: TMC strongman Shajahan arrested, sent to 10-day police custody by court

Absconding TMC strongman Shajahan Sheikh, the main accused of sexual abuse and land grabbing in Sandeshkhali, was arrested in the early hours of Thursday after being on the run for 55 days that witnessed violent protests led by local women and a fierce political slugfest.

Additional Director-General of Police (South Bengal) Supratim Sarkar said Sheikh was arrested from a house in Bamanpukur in Minakhan police station area, around 30 km away from the island of Sandeshkhali on the outskirts of Sunderbans, in North 24 Parganas district.

Sheikh was hiding in the house along with a few associates, police said.

After the arrest, he was taken to the Basirhat court, which sent him to 10 days in police custody.

Sheikh, who has been at the centre of a massive political firestorm, came out of the lock-up around 10.40 am dressed in white kurta-pajama, and walked to the courtroom with policemen behind him. He also made a gesture with his hand at the media contingent waiting there.

After the hearing, which lasted for barely two minutes, he returned to the lock-up. Later, police whisked him away to an undisclosed destination.

Sheikh was taken into custody within 24 hours of the Calcutta High Court stating that the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) or the West Bengal Police can arrest him.

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