The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has sought a detailed report from the West Bengal Government over attacks on the Enforcement Directorate (ED) team in the State on January 5, sources said on January 9.
The ED team was attacked in West Bengal’s Sandeskh Khali after it raided certain locations in the North 24 Parganas district in connection with a ration distribution scam case.
The attack on the ED team occurred when it reached near Trinamool leader Sheikh Shahjahan’s residence. He was subsequently arrested in connection with the assault.
Over 200 locals, all believed to be the TMC leader’s supporters, encircled the ED officials as well as the armed paramilitary forces accompanying the team when they tried to raid his residence in connection with the ration scam probe.
The loyalists circled the officials and demonstrated before assaulting them and forcing them to leave the area. They attacked the officers when they tried to break the lock of the gate, which the TMC leader did not open despite multiple calls made by the ED officials. One of the officials sustained a head injury and had to be taken to the hospital.
The ED officers conducted raids at 15 places in the State during the day, including Sheikh Shahjahan’s residence. Sheikh Shahjahan is believed to be a close aide of Jyotipriyo Mallick, who was arrested in connection with the multi-crore ration distribution scam.
In respect of three premises of Sahajahan Sheikh Convenor of TMC Sandesh Khali, North 24 Parganas, the ED has said that as soon as the search team arrived at two premises, in respect of one premises i.e residence of Sahajahan Sheikh, the door was locked from inside and he refused to open the door.
“As officers with the assistance of CRPF Personnel were trying to get the door opened even by trying to contact the concerned person. His mobile location at that time indicated that he was inside this house,” ED said.
“Thereafter, the ED team was taken by surprise that within half an hour, the crowd of around 800-1000 persons marching towards them with weapons in their hands such as lathis, stones, bricks etc. and gheraoed the ED officials and CRPF personnel,” the ED has said in a statement.
Suddenly, the agency said that the crowd started attacking the ED officials and CRPF personnel and started pelting stones and bricks at them and attacked the officers as well as CRPF personnel (27 in number in two premises) with stones, lathis and hands (using physical force) and also raising and shouting slogans against the ED officers and the Central Government.
“The ED officials, while discharging their duties, were badly attacked by crowds (suspected to be instigated by Sahajahan Sheikh and his associates). Three officers suffered grievous injuries as the mob marched towards the ED officials intending to cause death. They are being treated at the hospital. Other officers had to escape from the place of the incident without searching to save their lives as the mob became very violent and even chased the officials to deter the officials from performing their official duty,” the statement added.
The mob also snatched the personal and official belongings of the ED officials, such as their mobile phones, laptops, cash and wallets, said the ED, adding, “A requisite complaint has been made to jurisdictional Police for registration of FIR and necessary action against culprits.”
(with inputs from ANI)