Sandeshkhali unrest: Trinamool starts distancing itself from Sheikh Shahjahan’s brother

Kolkata, Feb 24 (IANS) Amid complains of forceful grabbing of farmland and converting them into pisciculture farms against Sheikh Sirajuddin, the younger brother of absconding Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan, at Sandeshkhali in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district, the party leadership has started distancing itself from the accused.

Sheikh Shahjahan, the accused mastermind behind the attack on ED and CAPF personnel in Sandeshkhali last month, is absconding since the day of the attack on January 5.

That the party is trying to distance itself from the accused became evident from a comment made by state Irrigation Minister Partha Bhowmik, who was on a visit to Sandeshkhali on Saturday along with state Fire Services Minister Sujit Basu and local Trinamool legislator Sukumar Mahato.

Speaking to mediapersons there, Bhowmik said that although Sirajuddin used to be the Trinamool area president once, he was removed from the chair quite some time back.

“He has been replaced by Ajit Maiti,” Bhowmik said.

However, neither the minister, nor the local party legislator, specified the time when Sirajuddin was removed from the chair.

When the mediapersons pointed out that there are complaints of illegal land grabbing against Maiti as well, Bhowmik said, “What is going on in Sandeshkhali is orchestrated jointly by the CPI(M) and the BJP. We have already announced that it is the responsibility of the state government to return the land to the local people.”

Earlier this week, the villagers in Sandeshkhali had burnt down a warehouse located within a pisciculture farm owned by Sirajuddin.

Meanwhile, the opposition BJP has ridiculed Bhowmik’s claims of removing Sirauddin from the chair ‘some time back’, terming it as ‘nothing but a joke’.

“A leader continues to be an asset for the party till the time he/she is embroiled in controversies. Once controversies surface, the so-called suspension or removal from party posts are announced. However, the same leaders again emerge as assets as soon as the controversies die down,” said a state committee member of the BJP.



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