TMC accuses BJP of misusing central probe agencies

Kolkata, Apr 2 (PTI) The BJP and TMC on Tuesday engaged in a verbal duel over arrested TMC leader and Sandeshkhali strongman Shahjahan Sheikh, with the saffron party leveling accusations of human trafficking and drug peddling against Sheikh, and the TMC alleging a conspiracy by the BJP of misusing central agencies against the party.
    At a press conference, BJP state general secretary Jagannath Chattopadhyay claimed that Sheikh was involved in trafficking drugs from Afghanistan and humans from Myanmar and Bangladesh, with significant financial transactions linked to these activities.
    Sheikh, suspended by the TMC, was arrested by the state police on February 29. He and his associates are accused of land-grabbing and sexual harassment in Sandeshkhali.
    Chattopadhyay alleged that Sheikh had connections with several high-ranking TMC leaders, including ministers, and had never faced consequences for his actions until now.
    "From illegally carving out bheries (private fisheries) to trafficking of human and drug peddling across Indian subcontinent, the Sandeshkhali tyrant used to run a vast empire through his enterprise. We want the truth to come out. We know that will happen and many top leaders of state's ruling party will be in the dock," he added.
    In response, TMC state spokesperson Kunal Ghosh criticised the BJP's statements, asserting that they were part of a pattern of false narratives being constructed by the party leaders to manipulate central agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
    "We have been saying repeatedly how the central agencies are being used by the BJP to manufacture concocted stories against TMC leaders and grassroots workers. That is why we are forced to say ED and CBI have become wings of BJP," he said.
    He reiterated that if Sheikh is found guilty of any charges, the law would take its course, but condemned the BJP's attempt to tarnish the TMC's image through the use of investigative agencies.

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)