A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team led by DIG Akhilesh Singh reached the site of the Bogtui carnage in West Bengal’s Birghum district on Saturday, a day after the Calcutta High Court handed over the probe into the gruesome incident to the federal agency. Eight persons, including women and children, were burnt alive by a mob that set fire to several houses earlier thai week in the village under rampurhat block, apparently in retaliation to the killing of a Trinamool Congress leader. The 15-member team, including senior officials and forensic experts, visited the Rampurhat police station on Saturday morning and took over various files and documents related to the case. At the crime scene, CBI’s Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory (CFSL) experts collected samples and took a look at the houses charred in the blaze. The Central Agency has registered a case in connection with the killing of eight people in Birbhum district on Tuesday.
Earlier on Friday, a division bench of the Calcutta High Court comprising Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice R Bharadwaj asked the CBI to take over the probe from the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by the state government to look into the case. The bench said the facts and circumstances of the case demand that “in the interest of justice and to instill confidence in the society and to have fair investigation to dig out the truth” it is necessary to hand over the investigation to the CBI. “Accordingly, we direct the State Government to forthwith hand over the investigation of the case to CBI,” the judges said, asking the state authorities to extend full cooperation to the CBI in conducting the probe. The court ordered the state police authorities, as also the SIT, not to carry out any further investigation in the matter “from the time the same is handed over to CBI”. Coming down heavily on the SIT, the bench said it has minutely examined the case diary of the incident produced before it and found though the SIT was formed on March 22, it had not made any effective contribution to date. “It has been submitted that in spite of the fact that the police station is very near to the spot of incident, the police did not reach on time and persons trapped inside the houses kept on burning.” The court, which had taken suo moto cognisance of the case, gave its order after rejecting a request by the Mamata Banerjee government not to entrust the case to the federal probe agency. The prime suspect in Bogtui village carnage, Trinamool Congress leader Anarul Hussain was arrested on Thursday, shortly after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee instructed the police to nab him at any cost.
Banerjee on Thursday visited Bogtui and interacted with the survivors of the carnage in Birbhum district and assured strong punitive action against the culprits while instructing the police to ensure the protection of the lives of people against any recurrence of such attack. Banerjee also instructed the police to arrest Trinamool Congress block president of Rampurhat, Anarul Hussain, who allegedly led the mob and burnt alive eight persons, including six women and two children. “I want Anarul to give himself up to the police. if he doesn’t, the police must arrest him,” she said. Sometime after Banerjee left the village, Anarul was arrested. The chief minister announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of the kin of the victims and between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 2 lakh each for rebuilding the damaged houses. Those injured will be provided Rs 50,000 each, and the government would pay for their treatment.