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Who Is Sheikh Shahjahan? TMC’s Controversial Face In Sandeshkhali, West Bengal

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Sheikh Shahjahan, the formidable Trinamool Congress (TMC) figure in Sandeshkhali, North 24 Parganas, came to an end as state police apprehended the 45-year-old leader after nearly two months on the run. The meteoric rise of Shahjahan has been a subject of both awe and controversy, with claims of him wielding more influence than many elected representatives. 

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Shahjahan’s journey began in the modest role of a driver and occasional trekker assistant, collecting fares in Sandeshkhali and Sarberia. Sources reveal that he rose to prominence under the guidance of his maternal uncle, Moslem Sheikh, a local CPI(M) leader at the panchayat level. Transitioning into the fish trade, Shahjahan soon asserted control over local fish farms, simultaneously forming his own cadre of village youths, effectively building a formidable power base. 


The turning point in Shahjahan’s political career came when he caught the attention of Jyoti Priya Mallick, a former state minister and TMC leader. Mallick, currently facing legal issues related to a ration distribution scandal, identified Shahjahan as a valuable ally. Joining the TMC in 2013, Shahjahan rapidly gained popularity within the party, earning a reputation of being more influential than several elected MLAs and ministers. His close association with Mallick, now in jail, further solidified his standing within the political landscape.

Who is Sheikh Shahjahan, the controversial TMC leader of Sandeshkhali in West  Bengal? | Kolkata -

Source: Hindustan Times

Shahjahan’s power was evident when enforcement officials attempted to search his residence on January 5, only to face a violent mob of 800-1,000 individuals. The attack resulted in injuries to three officials, and Shahjahan has been on the run since. Allegedly orchestrating the assault from his home, he enjoyed such influence that villagers seeking to file complaints against TMC members were redirected to him, earning him the moniker ‘bhai’ or brother. State advocate general Kishore Datta revealed that 43 FIRs involving Shahjahan were registered in the last four years, with charge sheets submitted in 42 cases.

Shahjahan’s educational qualifications remain shrouded in mystery, as no information is available about his academic background. Documents submitted during the 2023 panchayat polls shed little light on this aspect. However, financial records paint a picture of a successful businessman, with an annual income of ₹19.8 lakh, bank deposits exceeding ₹1.9 crore, ownership of 43 bighas of land (worth ₹4 crore), a ₹1.5 crore house in Sarberia, and possession of at least 17 bikes. Despite his controversial profile, his standing as the ‘Matsa Karmadhakshya’ (in-charge of fisheries) in North 24 Parganas indicates the extent of his influence in both political and economic spheres.

TMC Leader Sheikh Shahjahan's Arrest in Sandeshkhali Shakes West Bengal's  Political Scene

Source: BNN Breaking

The TMC has faced mounting pressure as villagers, particularly women, took to the streets demanding Shahjahan’s arrest. The Calcutta high court expressed surprise at the delay in his apprehension, prompting allegations from the opposition that the Mamata Banerjee government was shielding him. However, the state government maintained that a stay order from the Calcutta HC prevented his arrest. Contradicting TMC leaders’ claims, the high court clarified on Monday that no such order existed, granting the CBI and ED the green light to proceed with Shahjahan’s arrest on Wednesday.


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