Sandeshkhali attack: CBI summons 9 persons; trusted aide under interrogation

Officials said they have been asked to be present at the agency's Nizam Palace office in Kolkata by 14 March

Sheikh Shahjahan (photo: IANS)
Sheikh Shahjahan (photo: IANS)


The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday, 11 March, issued summons to nine persons with whom the now-suspended Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan, the accused mastermind behind the 5 January attack on ED and CAPF staff at Sandeshkhali, spoke to immediately before the incident, officials said.

According to CBI, they have been asked to be present at the agency's Nizam Palace office in Kolkata by 14 March.

One of the eight persons being summoned by the CBI is Ziauddin Mollah, known to be Shahjahan's most trusted lieutenant.

According to the sources, Ziauddin, who is suspected to be the chief orchestrator in planning the attack on ED and CAPF staff as per the instruction of Shahjahan, has already reached the CBI office where his interrogation by the central agency is presently underway.

On the day of the attack, Ziauddin was the first person to give his reaction to the media, claiming that the attack was spontaneous as the ED staff accompanied by CAPF personnel tried to break into Shahjahan's residence without a proper search warrant.

Ziauddin, the head of the Sarberia-Agarhati village panchayat in Sandeshkhali, is known to be a close associate of Shahjahan in the multiple businesses owned by the latter.

The CBI has already got the details of the telephone calls made from the two cellphones of Shahjahan 30 minutes before the attack on 5 January.

The calls were made to a legislator of the ruling Trinamool Congress, some panchayat members from the two blocks in Sandeshkhali, and some of Shahjahan's employees engaged in the businesses run by him, the sources said.

However, the CBI is yet to get physical possession of the two cellphones of Shahjahan, which have gone missing since his arrest.

The leader of the Opposition in West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, has already accused the Basirhat district police of destroying the two phones after Shahjahan's arrest on the night of 28 February.

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