The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday took over the probe into the killings at Bogtui village in West Bengal’s Birbhum district, hours after a Calcutta High Court directive. “A team comprising senior CBI officials and forensic experts has been dispatched to examine the scene of crime,” said an agency official.
On March 21, eight people were burnt to death in the village after a Trinamool Congress deputy pradhan was murdered.
The High Court directed the CBI to submit a report on its findings by April 7.
“We are of the opinion that facts and circumstances of the case demand that in the interest of justice and to instil confidence in society and to have fair investigation to dig out the truth, it is necessary to hand over the investigation to the CBI. We direct the State government to forthwith hand over the investigation to the CBI. We also direct the State authorities to extend full cooperation to the CBI in carrying out the investigation,” the order said.
“In view of this order, the State police authorities or Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the State will not carry out any further investigation in the matter,” it added.
The Division Bench observed that the SIT was constituted on March 22, “but till now there is no effective contribution of the SIT in the investigation. It has been submitted that in spite of the fact that the police station is very near to the spot of incident, the police did not reach on time and persons remained trapped inside the burning houses”.
While the BJP, the Left and the Congress have welcomed the order, ruling Trinamool spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said that “if at the instance of the BJP, there is an effort to indulge in politics of vendetta… then there will be protest and mass agitation”.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the village on Thursday, announced compensation and arrest of Trinamool local block president Anarul Hossain. He was remanded in 14-day police custody on Friday.
Anish Khan kin demand
With the court ordering a CBI probe into the Birbhum violence, the family members of student-activist Anish Khan also pressed for a CBI probe in his death. During the day, Minister Firhad Hakim tried to visit the family members at Dakhinkhanpara village in Howrah district, but the locals did not allow him. Protests by them forced him to return. Earlier in the day, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Indian Secular Front leader Abbas Siddique met the family members.
Anish Khan was found dead under mysterious circumstances on February 19 after “falling” from the second floor of his house. The family members have alleged that four persons, identifying themselves as policemen, barged into their house and threw Anish from the second floor of their house on February 19. A government-appointed SIT is probing the case