Calcutta high court takes up Birbhum case suo motu, asks for SIT diary – Times of India

Kolkata News

KOLKATA: The Calcutta high court on Wednesday took suo motu cognizance of the Bogtui village massacre in Birbhum’s Rampurhat that left eight people dead a day earlier. The division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj directed the special investigation team (SIT) to produce the case diary and other relevant documents before it by 2pm on Thursday, while declining a prayer for a CBI investigation into the crime.
The high court ordered the West Bengal government to immediately install CCTV cameras in the area under the supervision of the Purba Burdwan district judge. It also directed the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), Delhi, to visit the crime scene and collect evidence without any delay.
CJ Shrivastava, at the very outset, observed that the suo motu petition was admitted to ensure a fair investigation to punish those responsible for the crime. The court declined the prayer by seven petitioners seeking a CBI probe into the incident, on the grounds that an opportunity should first be given to the SIT.
The court also instructed the director general and the inspector general of police to provide security to vulnerable witnesses. “The DGP and IGP in consultation with the district judge of Purba Burdwan will ensure that witnesses are adequately protected and not threatened or influenced by anyone,” it said. The bench overruled objections from petitioners against two SIT members, Gyanwant Singh and Sanjay Singh. The petitioners pointed out that Gyanwant Singh was an accused in the Rizwanur Rehman death case in 2007, and was kept out of important postings from 2007 to 2014 till he was brought back as ADG (CID). They also cited that ADG (West) Sanjay Singh had been suspended by the EC from election duty during the 2021 Bengal assembly polls.
The bench turned to additional solicitor general YJ Dastoor after the petitioners pleaded for a forensic examination by CFSL, Delhi. The ASG conveyed that he could arrange for an examination by the team at any time. The high court’s directive to CFSL to collect evidence came even after advocate general SN Mookherjee submitted that a forensic team was already at the spot. The advocate general welcomed the court directive, saying the state government, too, wanted the truth to come out. Mookherjee also submitted that the SIT had conducted autopsies of the victims. The HC directed that any postmortem in future should be done with videography.