More than two years after nine villagers were killed in indiscriminate firing from a CPM leader’s house in Netai village of West Midnapore, a special team of West Bengal CID arrested five accused —- all CPM leaders —- from Hyderabad.
All the accused, including Rathin Dandapat from whose house bullets were allegedly fired, were produced in a West Midnapore CJM’s court Tuesday, which granted the CID their transit remand for a day. They would be produced before the Jhargram ACJM’s court where the case is committed.
The accused will be handed over to the CBI, which is investigating the case, after production before the ACJM’s court, a government counsel said.
A special CID team, headed by its special superintendent Bharati Ghosh arrested CPM’s Lalgarh local committee secretary Joydeb Giri, his predecessor Tapan Dev, Rathin Dandapat, who had given his home to the CPM for setting up a camp of armed cadres, Dalim Pandey, who is the cousin of Lalgarh zonal CPM secretary Anuj Pandey and Sheikh Khalilluddin a West Midnapore district committee member of the CPM from a hideout in Hyderabad.
“We had received several requests from CBI seeking assistance from the state police to arrest the accused. Based on specific information, we picked the accused from Hyderabad. They admitted that they were hiding in Nellore earlier and in some other places before taking refuge in the Andhra Pradesh capital,” Ghosh said.
Ghosh was recently removed as SP of West Midnapore district on direction from Election Commission and was posted as special superintendent of CID.
Of the 20 accused in the case, 17 have so far been arrested while three are still absconding. Nine villagers were killed in indiscriminate firing allegedly from Dandapat’s house at Netai village in West Midnapore on January 7, 2011. The Calcutta High Court had ordered a CBI inquiry into the massacre in February, 2011 expressing dissatisfaction with a CID probe then.
The then Left Front government’s appeal against the order was turned down by the Supreme Court. CPM politburo member Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee during whose reign the firing took place, had at a rally in Midnapore town in February this year regretted the killings, saying “Incidents like Netai are wrong. Our boys had done wrong at Netai.”