Calcutta high court stops Bengal SIT, asks CBI to probe Birbhum case – Times of India

Kolkata News
KOLKATA: The Calcutta high court handed CBI on Friday the investigation into the Bogtui village carnage in which eight people of a family were charred to death inside a cluster of houses in Bengal’s Birbhum district on March 21 in an alleged revenge attack over a panchayat representative’s murder an hour earlier.
The state government-appointed SIT has been investigating the case since March 22. The court asked SIT to stop its investigation and hand over all documents and arrested people to the central agency, saying “full cooperation” must be extended to CBI. The HC also directed CBI to file a primary investigation report during the next hearing on April 7.
“We are of the opinion that the investigation as expected, keeping in view of the gravity of the offence, was not done. It is pertinent to mention that expeditious steps are required to be taken to hand over the investigation to an independent agency because there are allegations of wiping… (away) evidence,” a division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj observed.
Earlier on Wednesday, the bench asked SIT to keep at its work and declined CBI’s request to let it investigate the case that had brought back memories of dreadful political reprisals in the state. “The SIT was formed on March 22. But till now there is no effective contribution of SIT in the investigation,” the bench observed on Friday.
The court pored over case diaries submitted by the advocate general on Thursday and submissions of petitioners. It noted several loopholes: cops didn’t reach the crime spot on time, though a police station was nearby; and cops didn’t use available tech to identify people at the crime scene. Besides, it is being alleged that the whereabouts of a witness were not known and police had not recorded statements of the family members of the deceased so far.
The CJ did not point out any lacuna in the case diaries, but held that the investigation left much to be desired when the “undisputedly shocking incident of burning of at least eight people, including a child and six women, had shaken the conscience of society”.
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