Even as in Delhi, the AAP and BJP spar over the political affiliations of Ansar Sheikh, a prime accused in the violence in the capital’s Jahangirpuri area, a similar debate has kicked off in West Bengal, as state BJP leaders allege that Sheikh is a “close associate” of the ruling Trinamool Congress.
The Trinamool, however, denies that Sheikh was involved with the party in any way.
Leader of Opposition in Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari claims that Sheikh was not only a close associate of Trinamool leadership in East Midnapore district, but also associated in an attack on his vehicle on May 2, 2021 immediately after the 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections.
“After I got elected from Nandigram assembly constituency, where I defeated the Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, there was an attack on my vehicle in Haldia, where Sheikh has his own residence. Sheikh was part of the Trinamool Congress gang who were behind that attack,” he claimed.
Adhikari’s statement came on a day when a team of the Delhi Police is already in Haldia and adjacent Mashishadal to collect more information about Sheikh and Sheikh Aslam, the two accused behind the Jahangirpuri violence.
While a luxurious mansion owned by Sheikh is located at Haldia, the prime industrial township in East Midnapore, Aslam is a resident of Kanchanpur village under the Mahishadal police station.
However, the local Trinamool leadership has denied any association of either Ansar Sheikh or Aslam with the party’s district unit.
Adhikari also alleged that Trinamool has made West Bengal a “supply hub of terrorists throughout the country” and also demanded that the Union government should immediately step to cut of the supply line.
In Haldia, people knew Sheikh as a successful trader dealing in the scrap iron business. His longest stay in Haldia at a time was between the middle of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, or during the Covid-19 pandemic period. However, even after that he used to frequent Haldia.
On the other hand, Aslam was known in the locality as a carpenter who went to Delhi five to six months back to earn hiss livelihood. Sheikh had been the key person behind Aslam’s move.
On April 16, communal clashes broke out between two groups of people during a Shobha Yatra procession on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri area. As many as eight police personnel and a civilian sustained injuries in the violence.
Delhi Police on Sunday arrested 35-year-old Sheikh, for alleged conspiracy behind the communal clashes, an official said.