Assault on ED officers sparks political duel in Bengal; BJP, Cong seek imposition of Prez’s rule

Kolkata: The assault on ED officers in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district on Friday sparked a political slugfest, with the BJP and Congress calling for the imposition of President’s rule, even as the ruling TMC accused the central agency sleuths of inciting locals.

ED officers were assaulted and their vehicles damaged allegedly by supporters of TMC leader Sheikh Sajahan, when they tried to raid his residence in the Sandeshkhali area in connection with its probe into the ration distribution scam.

Sajahan is considered to be a close aide of state minister Jyotipriyo Mallick, who was arrested for his alleged involvement in the scam.

At least two Enforcement Directorate officers suffered serious injuries and required hospitalisation.

Reacting to the incident, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nisith Pramanik said, “State governments must provide officers of the central probe agency proper security and other resources.

But, that has not happened in West Bengal. The attack on the ED officers is an attack on the federal structure of the state.”

“The Centre has taken serious note of it, and we will also look into why similar incidents are repeatedly happening in West Bengal,” Pramanik said.

BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, urging an immediate National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe into the assault, and the imposition of President’s rule in the state.

“As the law and order situation in Bengal has crumbled thanks to @AITCofficial post the heinous attack on the ED officials at Sandeshkhali, I have written to the Hon’ble Home Minister @AmitShahJi to initiate NIA investigation into the matter to ensure the safety of the people of Bengal,” he said on X.

Majumdar’s letter also sought the deployment of central paramilitary forces to ensure the integrity of investigative procedures by central agencies.

Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury spoke in a similar vein, alleging that law and order cease to exist in Bengal under the Trinamool Congress rule.

“We demand that President’s rule should be immediately imposed in West Bengal,” he said.

Meanwhile, TMC minister Shashi Panja accused the ED officers of instigating the locals, which led to the situation.

“Union minister Nisith Pramanik spoke about the attack on the federal structure. The withholding of West Bengal’s dues in a real sense is an attack on the federal structure,” Panja asserted.

TMC state spokesperson Kunal Ghosh criticised the Congress and BJP, claiming that the law and order situation in West Bengal is much better than in other states.