With the CID of the state police failing to make any headway in the alleged rape of a 71-year-old nun at a Convent in Ranaghat area of Nadia district even five days after the incident and the demand for justice growing louder, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday decided to hand over the case to the CBI.
Terming the incident as “very serious”, she has written to Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) seeking CBI probe into the case.
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“Considering the seriousness and sensitivity of the case and also the fact that the place of incidence is very close to border area, I have decided to entrust the investigation into the case to the CBI,” Mamata said in a Facebook post and on her Twitter handle. She said her government would provide all necessary cooperation and assistance to the CBI. “The Ranaghat incident of March 14 is a very serious matter. The police administration was instructed to take swift action to nab the culprits. They are making their best efforts,” Mamata said.
State Home Secretary Basudeb Banerjee confirmed that the letter, recommending a CBI probe, has been sent to the MHA. The CBI sources, meanwhile, said the central agency will register a case and begin its probe only after it is notified by the MHA. “Once the MHA approves it, the notification will be issued,” said a source in CBI.
The decision to hand over the case to CBI was taken in the morning when Mamata chaired a high-level meeting with top officials of the state police and CID in Kolkata. Significantly, the investigators, over the last five days, detained a dozen people and questioned at least 40 locals but failed to make any headway in the case. While CID had to let go most of the detainees, investigators claim that the criminals were “hired goons” from other states and have fled from the state.
Justifying the move to handover the case to CBI, state Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim said, “The state police have got certain limitations. The criminals may have sneaked into foreign countries or hiding in other states…Since the CBI has got larger resources and operational area, we decided to hand over the case.”
BJP, however, claimed that Mamata has made the move to “save her skin”. “CM is under pressure both in the state and outside. The case has attracted international attention,” said Rahul Sinha, state BJP president.