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Tension escalates in Sandeshkhali as women protesters burn down TMC leader’s poultry farm

The tension at Sandeshkhali in West Bengal escalated on Friday after women agitators seeking absconding Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan’s arrest, burnt down a poultry farm owned by his close confidant and Trinamool Congress leader Shibu Hazra.

Sheikh Shahjahan is the alleged mastermind behind the attack on ED and CAPF personnel at Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district on January 5.

Since Thursday afternoon several local women had been protesting on the streets demanding arrest of Shahjahan and his close associates in Sandeshkhali, whom they accused of making their lives miserable for quite some time before the attack on the ED’s men.

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However, their protest took a violent turn on Friday after they burnt down the poultry farm owned by Hazra. After burning down the farm the protesters claimed that it was set up on a plot of land that had been forcefully occupied by the Trinamool Congress leader.

They also alleged that the farm had become a hub of all sorts of illegal activities. They protesters also alleged that there were several other incidents of forceful grabbing of land by Shahjahan and his associates in the Sandeshkhali area.

“Besides, land grabbing, they also forced the villagers to provide free labour in the businesses run by them. The women of the area were unable to step out of their homes after sunset because of the fear of molestation by Shahjahan’s associates,” a woman protester said.

Meanwhile, in the face of the massive agitation, the district administration of North 24 Parganas has ordered the formation of an investigation committee to look into the complaints of land grabbing. The block land revenue officer will head the said committee.

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