The Trinamool Congress has suspended Sheikh Shahjahan, the accused mastermind behind the attack on ED and CAPF teams at Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district on January 5, from the party for six years, state Education Minister Bratya Basu announced on Thursday.

Shahjahan, who was arrested from Minakhah in North 24 Parganas district late on Wednesday night after being on the run for 55 days, was remanded to 10-day police custody by a district court on Thursday.

A local Trinamool strongman in Sandeshkhali, Shahjahan is also accused of harassing villagers in the trouble-torn area.

“This (decision to suspend Shahjahan) proves that the Trinamool Congress takes steps against those facing specific allegations. This is nothing new for us. Trinamool Congress had done this before as well,” Basu told mediapersons.

Drawing comparison between BJP and Trinamool, the minister said, “BJP is not like Trinamool Congress. I challenge the Prime Minister to suspend party leaders like Suvendu Adhikari, Narayan Rane and Himanta Biswa Sarma. What steps have been taken against the Chief Minister of Manipur or BJP leaders like Brij Bhusan,” Basu asked.

Meanwhile, state BJP chief Sukanta Majumdar termed the suspension as nothing but a face-saving exercise.

“Till yesterday, the ruling party was denying Shahjahan’s involvement in any kind of wrong-doings. Both the arrest and the suspension are part of a scripted drama. The way in which Shahjahan entered the district court, it didn't seem that he was under arrest. It seemed as if Shahjahan has arrested the cops,” Majumdar said.

(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)