Bengal government requested to provide status report on Birbhum violence by 2 p.m
In the aftermath of the assassination of a local TMC leader, eight persons were burnt to death in Birbhum district.
The Calcutta High Court took suo motu notice of the violence in West Bengal’s Birbhum district on Wednesday, ordering the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CSFL) to collect evidentiary samples from the crime scene and to protect eyewitnesses. It also requested that the state government produce a report on the case by 2 p.m. on Thursday, when the case will be heard again.
In the purported aftermath of the murder of a Trinamool Congress panchayat officer, eight people were burnt to death in Rampurhat, Birbhum district, on Tuesday. Taking up a suo motu plea and a set of PILs, a division bench led by Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava directed that CCTVs be erected at the crime scene in the presence of district judge Purba Bardhaman, and recordings be made till further instructions. The court, which also included justice R Bharadwaj, ordered a team from the CFSL in Delhi to visit the site and collect samples for testing as soon as possible. It requested that the director general of police, in collaboration with the district judge, Purba Bardhaman, secure the safety of witnesses, including a small kid injured in the arson.
The court noted that a suo motu petition for a fair investigation of the case had been filed. The petitioners in the PILs have asked for an investigation by the CBI or any other non-government agency. The government’s advocate general objected to the plea, claiming that a SIT was investigating the subject and that there was no need to transfer the case to another body. On March 21, some miscreants assassinated Sheikh, a TMC politician and pradhan of Boroshal grama panchayat. The assassination sparked a violent retaliation in which ten to twelve houses were set on fire and eight individuals were burned alive.
Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, has formed a special investigation team (SIT) to look into the matter. According to Bar and Bench, one of the petitions before the HC noted that the SIT has already made numerous contradicting remarks on the topic and that it will simply operate as a “slave of the ruling party.” The petition added, “The SIT would leave no stone unturned to cover up the situation.” Banerjee called the Birbhum event “unfortunate” and promised that her government would respond “fairly.” She also chastised Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, calling him “one ladsahab” for making derogatory words about the state. Mamata, who will visit Rampurhat on Thursday, expressed worry for the state’s citizens.
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