Nandigram: A day before the polling in Nandigram in the second phase of the West Bengal elections began, Trinamool Congress leader Abu Taher and his party got a big relief from the Calcutta High Court.
The court on Wednesday issued an order seeking status quo in the case and deferred the arrest of Abu Taher and 13 others till April 6 in the 14-year-old Nandigram land agitation case.
A division bench of the High Court, headed by Justice IP Mukherjee, said there would be a status quo in the case for the time being. That means no new arrests can be made in the case until April 6.
The court had recently issued an order to reopen the 14-year-old Nandigram land agitation case in which Abu Taher, Shaikh Sufiyan, among others were main accused. The court had also issued an arrest warrant against all the accused.
Sheikh Sufian, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s election agent in Nandigram, has already moved to the Supreme Court for a two-week stay against the arrest warrant.
Abu Taher, one of Mamata’s close associates, was under pressure as there was no protection against the arrest warrant. His apprehensions increased after the arrest of Trinamool leader Chhatradhar Mahato by NIA recently in a 2009 case. The High Court order now comes as a big relief for Taher and the TMC.
Abu Taher alleged that during the election season the police along with the central forces were trying to arrest him. They had raided his house four times in the last few days though he was not present at his residence.
Taher, a close aide of Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee, said due to the pending arrest warrant he could not join the CM’s road show in Nandigram. But he had asked his supporters to make all the necessary arrangements during the campaigning.
Polling for Nandigram is underway today in the second phase.