Kolkata | Nineteen days after an ED team was assaulted by a mob, the federal agency sleuths again conducted a raid at the residence of absconding TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh in North 24 Parganas district on Wednesday morning in connection with its investigation into the multi-crore ration distribution scam, an officer said.
Accompanied by over 120 personnel of the central armed police force, the ED officers broke open the collapsible gate at the residence of Sheikh in the Sandeshkhali area in the presence of local police and two locals as witnesses, the officer said.
"We are searching Sheikh's house today. We will also try to talk to the residents there", the ED officer told PTI.
After entering the house, the ED officers locked the gates from inside and started searches, he added.
ED officers searched rooms, kitchen, and cupboards, and broke open almirahs in Sheikh's residence, a senior officer said.
"As of now, our officer could not find anything significant inside the house. It seems the documents have been shifted from this house. However, our search operation is still on. Our officers are looking for things on the second floor of the building," the officer said.
It was learnt that they were in touch with their senior officers about their next course of action in the search operation.
Meanwhile, a huge number of central forces as well as policemen from Basirhat Police District and the local Nazat police station were found standing guard outside the premises and along the stretch leading to the main gate of the building.
Earlier, the ED officers were stopped from entering the TMC leader's residence by local police before they were shown the "order to conduct a search operation" there.
"We need to see the order to conduct a search operation at any place within our jurisdiction. This is the norm. They (ED officers) showed the order and after that we allowed them to break open the gate and start searching inside. We will cooperate with them and will see they do not face any problem," a senior officer of Basirhat Police District told PTI.
On January 5, a team of ED officers were assaulted by a mob when they tried to enter the residence of the TMC leader.
Three officers were injured in the attack. The district police and Sheikh's family members had lodged a complaint against the ED officers.
Sheikh, however, is absconding till date.