Raising questions of credibility and independence,the state police today did not seek custody of the four Trinamool Congress supporters named in the FIR for the murders of a former CPM MLA and a CPM district committee member. This despite the fact that they were booked under Sections 302 and 304 of IPC. The judge had to grant judicial custody to the four accused.
Senior police officials said that the norm in murder cases is to seek police custody so that the police can question the accused,investigate the motive,conspiracy or plot,even the possibility that others might be involved. The accused are also required to be taken to the scene of the crime to help reconstruct the sequence of events that led to the crime. If the accused are in judicial custody,the police will require the courts sanction before it questions the accused or seeks their help in the probe.
When asked why they didnt seek police custody,Public Prosecutor at the Burdwan court Sheikh Rafique said: We didnt need to,the weapons have been recovered and all the accused have been identified. Ironically,police are looking for 18 suspects.
Said Leader of Opposition Surya Kant Mishra: Its clear that the CM and her partymen are sheltering the accused. Thats the only explanation for the police not seeking custody.
There was no mistaking the signal sent by the government. Yesterday,Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee said the killings were an outcome of armed CPM goons trying to regain control over villages and a sudden outburst of mob fury to resist this.
Meanwhile,Governor M K Narayanan,when asked about the Burdwan killings,said: Murder is a crime most foul. Police will take necessary action. It is too early to say what went wrong.
A senior TMC leader of Burdwan confirmed that the four arrested were genuinely TMC workers and had no past links with the CPM,while some of the 18 missing had switched over from CPM to TMC after the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
Those arrested today include: Patitpaban Tah,a senior TMC leader of Deoandighi-Mirzapur area; his brother,Surajeet Tah,a local moneylender; TMC members Bhupal Goswami and Choton Chakraborty. The FIR also names Mantu Ghosh,Jhantu Ghosh,Aditya Ghosh and Mani Ghosh,who shifted from CPM to TMC after the 2009 election.
According to government records,there have been as many as 40 clashes between TMC and CPM in Burdwan form July 1 to December 31,2011.