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"BJP ploy...weapons planted at site": TMC writes to Bengal poll panel chief after arms recovery in Sandeshkhali

Kolkata: The ruling Trinamool Congress lodged a complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer of the state on Saturday over the raids in Sandeshkhali by a joint team of the CBI and bomb squads of the elite National Security Guard (NSG).
During Phase 2 of polling for the Lok Sabha in the state on Friday, the CBI and the NSG bomb squads carried out raids in Sandeshkhali and the North 24 Parganas district, recovering a huge cache of arms and ammunition from the house of Abu Taleb, a relative of local TMC leader Hafzul Khan, who is alleged to be a close aide of now-expelled ruling party strongman Sheikh Shahjahan.
In its complaint with the CEO, the TMC alleged that despite repeated representations, the state poll panel chief failed to stop central probe agencies from "throttling the campaign efforts" of various political parties.
"While elections were going on, the CBI deliberately carried out an unscrupulous raid at an empty location in Sandeshkhali. Media reports suggest that the CBI called in additional forces, including the bomb squad of the National Security Guard (NSG). It has also been reported that arms and ammunition were recovered from a house during such a raid," the TMC stated in its complaint.
The ruling party in the state alleged further that the CBI did not issue 'actionable notice' to the state government or the police administration before carrying out the raids.
"Further, the State Police has a fully functional bomb disposal squad, which could have assisted the entire operation if the CBI indeed felt that a bomb squad was required during such a raid. However, no such assistance was sought by the CBI. It is further astonishing to notice that media personnel were already present during the raid even before the State administration arrived at the spot. At this point in time, it was already nationwide news that weapons had been recovered during the raid. There is no way of knowing with certainty whether these weapons were indeed recovered during the search and seizure procedure or whether they were surreptitiously planted by the CBI/NSG," the ruling party in the state alleged further.
Further, according to the complaint, in the absence of any representative of the state government, the "purported recovery of arms and ammunition" was a ploy by the BJP, which is in cahoots with the CBI and the NSG to "plant such weapons at the site".
The TMC demanded that the CEO issue "immediate guidelines/framework, whereby, political parties and their functionaries are not taken steps against by any central investigating agency, including the CBI, during the period of elections".
"Issue immediate directions to the agencies and the media to remove all references to AITC in their reporting and issue such other orders as may be deemed fit and proper," the complaint added.

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