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HC hands over Burdwan killings probe to CID

Court points out inconsistencies and lacunae in investigation by district police.

Written by Kanchan Chakraborty | Kolkata | Published: March 3, 2012 7:27:29 am

In a snub to the Mamata Banerjee-led government,Calcutta High Court today handed over the probe into the killing of two senior CPM leaders,in Burdwan district on February 22,to the state CID. The court expressed displeasure on the ongoing investigation by the district police in the case. The petitioners,however,urged the court to hand over the case to the CBI.

While the Division Bench of Chief Justice Jaynarayan Patel and Justice Sombudha Chakraborty directed the CID to file a preliminary report on the investigation on March 23,the Bench said it would monitor the probe and the agency would have to file its progress report time to time.

Delivering the order,the Division Bench said that the investigation is being handed over to the CID from the local police to ensure fair and proper investigation.

The Bench had expressed doubts over the ongoing investigation after going through the post-mortem report. It pointed out inconsistencies between the post-mortem report and seizure list. It said that though there were several injury marks on the body of Pradip Tah,the police seized only a branch of a tree,two small bamboo sticks and a few stones.

Referring to the post-mortem report,advocate Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya,counsel of the petitioner,pointed out that Tah was killed with a sharp weapon but the police failed to recover it.

Pradip Tah,former CPM MLA and Kamal Gayen,local CPM leader were allegedly killed by a mob on February 22 in broad daylight in Burdwan. Three locals involved with a social organisation filed separate Public Interest Litigations early this week,demanding a CBI probe into the killing of the two CPM leaders. Referring to media reports,the petitions alleged that some Trinamool Congress activists were involved in the killing of the two men and that the police did not conduct the investigation properly.

When the Division Bench wanted to see the case diary,the state counsel had produced the same without the post-mortem report. The Bench then demanded the reason for such an action on the part of the state counsel.

On the instruction of the High Court,the counsel of the state government produced the post-mortem report after the lunch session,which the Burdwan police sent by fax.

Opposing the court order,Ashok Banerjee,government pleader,argued that the investigation was in the primary stage and four persons were already arrested out of the 22 named in the FIR.

On this,the High Court pointed out why the police had not requested the criminal court for remand of the four arrested persons. It also pointed out that the police had not taken statements from the witnesses who were present when the two CPM men were killed.

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