The Calcutta High Court on Thursday took on record the Central Bureau of Investigation’s preliminary report on the violence in Birbhum district of West Bengal, reported Live Law.
On March 21, Trinamool Congress leader Bhadu Sheikh, the panchayat head of Barshal village, had succumbed to his injuries after attackers hurled crude bombs at him. A day after this, violence had erupted in Bogtui village and several houses were attacked and set on fire with petrol bombs.
On March 25, the Calcutta High Court had directed the the Central Bureau of Investigation to take over the case from West Bengal Police’s Special Investigation Team.
At Thursday’s hearing, the counsel representing the central agency told a bench comprising of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj that officers were using the latest technology to investigate the violence.
“We will examine the report and upload the order to the server,” the chief justice said.
The court also heard a batch of petitions seeking an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation into Sheikh’s death.
The state government’s counsel, however, argued that the police were investigating the matter. Three out of the four petitions also did not seek an inquiry by the central agency, the state submitted.
Additional Solicitor General YJ Dastoor, representing the Central Bureau of Investigation, said the agency is to look into matter of Sheikh’s death but the evidence may have been tampered with or destroyed by now.
The High Court reserved its order to transfer the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The police said women and children were among those killed. Seven charred bodies were recovered from one house alone, while one person died of injuries in a hospital in the Birbhum district.
The killings had sparked a political controversy with the Bharatiya Janata Party in West Bengal and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar accusing the Mamata Banerjee government of allowing the state’s law and order situation to collapse.
The police have filed two first information reports, one in connection with Sheikh’s death and the second related to attack on the houses. The accused persons have been booked on charges of murder, attempt to murder, arson and other sections of the Indian Penal Code.