Birbhum violence | Calcutta HC directs CBI probe into TMC leader murder – The Hindu

Kolkata News

The violence at Bogtui village on March 21 where nine people lost their lives was in retaliation to the murder, says the court

The violence at Bogtui village on March 21 where nine people lost their lives was in retaliation to the murder, says the court

The Calcutta High Court on Friday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the murder of Trinamool Congress Deputy Pradhan Bhadu Sheikh. A Division Bench of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj said both incidents (murder and retaliatory violence) were inter-linked. On March 25, the court directed a CBI probe into the violence at Bogtui village.

Violence at Bogtui village on March 21 claimed nine lives — seven women, a man and a child. Miscreants set on fire several houses in the village after the murder of Bhadu Sheikh.

“The incidents are alleged to be a result of political rivalry. The allegation of the applicants that both incidents form part of the common conspiracy and continuous cause of action cannot be ignored. It is also worth noting if one agency investigates both the incidents then not only it will be easier to unearth the truth, but it will also facilitate trial before the same competent court,” the order by the Division Bench said.

Preliminary report

The High Court took note of the preliminary investigation report of the CBI filed on Thursday in connection with the violence. “Both the incidents took place within a gap of about two hours. Material placed on record prima facie suggests close relationship and linkage between the two incidents,” the order said. The Division Bench pointed out that the report submitted by the CBI “before this court suggests that the brutal incident of burning and killing at Bogtui village is the direct fallout of the killing of Bhadu Sk [Sheikh], the son of Marfat Sk of village Bogtui, at 8.30 p.m. on the same day”.

“It also suggests that the incident is the outcome of the rivalry amongst the members of two groups in the village and that burning of the houses resulting into death of eight persons was a retaliatory plan,” the Bench noted.

The violence at Bogtui village in Birbhum on March 21 where nine people lost their lives was in retaliation to the murder. After the violence on March 21, the High Court has taken suo motu cognisance of the matter. Though the West Bengal government has set up a Special Investigation Team to probe Bogtui violence, the Division Bench in its March 25 order said there was “no effective contribution” by the SIT in the investigation and ordered a CBI probe. The court directed the CBI to file a report on both the cases on May 2, when they will come up for hearing again.

Third case of CBI probe

Bhadu Sheikh’s murder is the third incident of political violence in the past two weeks that a CBI probe has been directed. With the order on Thursday, the CBI will investigate the murder case of Bhadu Sheikh along with the ongoing investigation of the violence at Bogtui where several houses were set on fire and nine people were burnt to death. Earlier on April 4, the High Court directed the CBI probe into the murder of Congress councillor Tapan Kandu on March 13.

Sent to CBI custody

During the day, four accused in the Bogtui violence, who were arrested from Mumbai by the CBI, were produced before a court at Rampurhat in Birbhum. The court remanded the four accused in CBI custody for seven days. Almost two dozen persons have been arrested for Bogtui violence and murder of Bhadu Sheikh. Those arrested include Trinamool Congress leader Anaraul Hossain.