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Submit status report on Birbhum killings in 24 hrs: HC to West Bengal govt

Eight people died in the Bogtui village of West Bengal’s Birbhum district on Tuesday in violence that followed hours after the murder of a deputy gram pradhan associated with the ruling TMC.

Written by Atri Mitra | Kolkata |
Updated: March 24, 2022 2:58:32 am
Charred house of Fatikh Sheikh beside Bhadu Sheikh's house. (Partha Paul/screenshot)

The Calcutta High Court has sought a status report on the Birbhum violence from the West Bengal government by Thursday 2 pm. A division bench headed by Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava, taking up a suo motu petition and a set of PILs, directed the installation of CCTV cameras in the presence of the district judge and 24×7 CCTV surveillance of the scene of occurrence.

The court also directed a team of Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) in Delhi to immediately collect necessary materials for forensic examination at Bogtui village where at least eight people were charred to death.

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Eight people died in the Bogtui village of Birbhum district early Tuesday morning in violence that followed hours after the murder of a deputy gram pradhan associated with the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC).

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The bench ordered the Director General (DG) of West Bengal Police and other top police officials to meet the District Judge of Purba Burdwan and take suggestions on ensuring security in Bogtui village.

The court also asked Advocate General Soumendranath Mukhopadhyay whether the investigation should be handed over to the CBI. To this, the AG replied that the state government had set up an SIT just a day before and if the police fails, then a CBI probe can be considered.

Taking suo moto cognizance of the incident earlier on Wednesday, Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava had observed, “It was a very shocking and serious incident. It has huge impact among the people.”

While the police denied any political angle and said it was a case of rivalry between two groups, the state government has set up a Special Investigation Team to probe the incident.

The Union Home Ministry on Tuesday also sought a report from the West Bengal government. The move came after a nine-member delegation of BJP MPs from West Bengal met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and sought his intervention and action against the perpetrators of the crime.

Meanwhile, sources in the SIT formed to probe the incident claimed to have arrested 20 people and slapped charges related to murder, arson and others under provisions of the Explosives Act.

Following the killing of deputy pradhan Bhadu Sheikh, at least eight houses in the area were attacked and set on fire, resulting in eight deaths, including that of women and children.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that action will be taken against perpetrators of violence “irrespective of their political colours”. “Will be going to violence-hit Birbhum district on Thursday to take stock of situation, postponed visit as other political parties huddling there,” she said.

BJP delegation stopped from visiting site of Birbhum violence

A BJP delegation led by Suvendu Adhikari was stopped from visiting the spot of violence in Birbhum district on Wednesday, prompting the opposition party to demand Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s resignation over the incident, alleging that attempts were being made to shield the culprits.

The BJP delegation led by Adhikari, the leader of the opposition in the state Assembly, was stopped as police had put up barricades just outside Bogtui village.

– With PTI inputs

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