A team of officials from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) was attacked and CRPF jawans
accompanying them were manhandled in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district on
January 05. The ED team was on duty in connection with raids related to an alleged
ration distribution scam.
Followers of a Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader in the Sandeshkhali area reportedly
attacked and overpowered the officials, vandalised their vehicles, and blocked roads.
Some officials sustained severe head injuries in the incident.
This is the first instance that ED officials have come under such attack during a raid
in connection with the ration scam. Reprimanding the state government, West Bengal
Governor CV Ananda Bose said he would investigate constitutional options to put an
end to violence in the state. Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari has sought the
Union Home Minister’s intervention in the matter.
The TMC blamed the central agency for “trying to malign” its image while saying that
the incident was “unfortunate”.
The ED team faced the opposition of the residents of the locality when they arrived to
raid the house of TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh. As the house was locked, the team
made repeated attempts to enter by calling. Repeated efforts by calling by ED officials,
yielded no results. After waiting for about an hour, the investigating officer tried to
break the lock of the house whereupon several local people reached the spot and
started heckling and manhandling the jawans. Sensing public reaction at the spot, the
ED officials left the spot, however, the angry crowd did not stop even after that.
Several people took to the streets with bricks and mortars. Some roads have been
“The officials of the central agency had to withdraw under the pressure of the mob.
Soon, local residents started protesting at places in Sandeshkhali. A group of people
set tyres on fire as protests. Locals vandalised some media vehicles too. The ED
informed the local police about the developments,” he added.
“I would like to assure the people that jungle raj and goonda raj will work in a fool’s
paradise, not in Bengal. It is not a banana republic. This early pre-election violence
will and should find an early end. It is the beginning of that end. The sole
responsibility of violence in society lies with the government. The government may
open its eyes, see the reality and act effectively or face the consequences. The police
who pretend not to see the lawlessness around should go. It is high time we stop
violence in Bengal,” said Governor Ananda Bose.
TMC Spokesperson Kunal Ghosh’s Words
Party spokesperson of TMC Kunal Ghosh said, “The Sandeshkhali incident is very
unfortunate. However, there is a serious provocation on the part of central agencies and
central forces. The agencies are provoking people by reaching different areas every
day in the name of raids under the BJP’s instruction. Attempts are continuously being
made to malign the image of the Trinamool Congress.”
On Friday morning the ED arrived at the houses of two TMC leaders in North 24
Parganas. A team-first reached the house of the in-laws of Shankar Adhya, the former
chairman of Bongaon Municipality. Later, Adhya’s house was also raided.
Simultaneously, another team reached Sheikh’s house in Sandeshkhali. According to
sources, Adhya and Sheikh are close to minister Jyoti Priya Mallick (Balu) who was
earlier arrested in connection with the alleged scam. Sheikh is also considered a TMC
strongman in the area and has multiple businesses, including a brick kiln.
According to ED sources, the agency raided the two places based on inputs related to
the ration distribution scam case. The ED officials have also reached a multi-storey
apartment in south Kolkata’s Bijaygarh and a search is underway at the house of a