The Centre on Friday rejected West Bengal government’s request for a CBI probe into the rape of a 71-year-old nun at a convent school in Nadia district, a day after the CID achieved a breakthrough in arresting two suspects 12 days after the heinous crime.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced on March 19 that her government recommended a CBI probe “considering the seriousness and sensitivity of the case” and assured the central probe agency of all cooperation and assistance in the investigation. With the Centre rejecting the request, the state administration Friday said they do not know why the central agency would not be taking up the case.
“We have received the communication (from the Centre) today that the CBI is not taking up the case. The letter dated 24th has been faxed today. How long does it take to send a letter? We do not know why they are not taking it up?,” a source in the state secretariat said.
The source claimed that on March 19, the CBI Joint Director had informed the state government that they are accepting the case.
“They had also taken a copy of the FIR filed at Ranaghat. Now CBI is not going to investigate. It proves that you cannot get CBI inquiry by asking for it,” the source said.
Meanwhile, crime branch DIG Dilip Adak said they had got significant leads by interrogating Shaikh Salim, one of the two suspects arrested on Thursday”
“Salim has been interrogated and has admitted his involvement in the crime. We have got 7-8 names from him and we hope to make more arrests soon,” he said. He confirmed that Salim was present at the place of occurrence while another senior officer confirmed that although Salim was present at the scene, he had not raped the 71-year-old nun”.
“His photograph was not among the eight pictures released from the CCTV footages but he was arrested on the basis of evidences and witnesses account…One of the reasons why Salim’s sketch was not available was because none of the sisters or guards had seen him to give his description for preparation of his sketch,” the senior officer said.
Adak said that Salim, who hailed from Bangladesh, used to live in Mumbai for the past 30 years and sell fish there for a living. He used to shuttle between Mumbai and Kolkata indulging in these criminal activities from time to time and often went to Bangladesh to his in-l’ws’ place.
Adak said that 30-year-old Gopal Sarkar, the second suspect, was a mason and had previous records of providing shelter to the same gang. Police were also looking into the possibility of Sarkar having worked at the Convent of Jesus and Mary High School and did a recce for the others.
It was also found out that after the crime, the gang had dispersed to different parts of the country and police are also not ruling out the possibility that some might have left the country.
Both Sarkar and Salim have been remanded to 14 days of CID custody.
Like Thursday, when Salim found no lawyer to represent him when he was produced in court after his arrest in Mumbai by the CID, Sarkar too found none to represent him.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.