TWO days after Trinamool Congress’ Jadupur area president in Malda district’s Kaliachak II block was suspended by the party, police on Monday night raided the residence of his unit’s vice president, Sarjan Sheikh, and recovered firearms and ammunition.
A senior district official said five rifles, two 9 mm revolvers, 350 cartridges, 55 crude bombs, 5 kg of material used for making explosives, sharp objects like knives and choppers, a drill machine and an SUV was seized from Sarjan, who was produced at a local court on Tuesday, which sent him to two-day police custody.
On September 6, Trinamool had suspended Jadupur area president Bakul Sheikh for six years on charges of extortion and terror mongering. “Sarjan is a known rowdy element and was under scanner for sometime. After receiving specific information, we raided his residence last night and recovered the haul from the attic,” said a senior officer of Kaliachak police station.
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Trinamool leaders, however, claimed Sarjan was not a Trinamool worker. “Anyone who gets caught takes the name of the ruling party as he is looking for a way out. When I switched from Congress to Trinamool, I had to fill out a form… I still have it. Can anyone show any such document for him? The police are doing their job and arrested a criminal. It is nothing more than that,” said Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury, state minister and MLA of English Bazar in Malda.
Sabitri Mitra, Trinamool MLA from Manikchak, said several workers join the party and some among them may be guilty of criminal activities. “It is the job of the police to arrest and convict these people, which is being done,” she added.
The Opposition, meanwhile, claimed that it was suspicious that the raids took place as soon as Bakul Sheikh was suspended by Trinamool.
“When you are under the protection of the ruling party, nothing happens to you. But as soon as you are out of the party, you are convicted. All these years, the party was gaining from him and thus, he was an asset to Trinamool,” said CPM Malda secretary Ambar Mitra.
Congress MP from Malda, Mausam Benazir Noor, too claimed: “The party definitely gained something out of him and thus, he was let scot free. But as soon as he was suspended, police swung into action against him. We had submitted a deputation against Bakul to the district SP on August 31.”