CBI Names 21 Accused In Bengal Killings, TMC Leader Questioned

Kolkata: The Central Bureau of Investigation in Birbhum massacre has named 21 people as accused. The CBI’s list of accused matches with the list of state police, NDTV sources said. The agency has however questioned the ruling TMC‘s block president Anarul Hossain, who, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had promised, will be arrested.

Until now, around 20 people have been arrested in the matter. Last week amid murder of a TMC leader, Bhadu Sheikh, six women and two children – mostly of members of a single family – were locked in their homes and burnt alive by a mob at the Bogtui village near Birbhum’s Rampurhat town.

Mamata Banerjee, during her visit to Bogtui, made a promise of arrest of Anarul Hossain, for not informing the police and helping them in preventing the crime.

Speaking to reporters while being taken away for questioning by the CBI, Anarul Hossain said, “It is a conspiracy by my opponents.”

At a government guest house in Rampurhat, a temporary camp has been set up by the CBI team. Led by senior officer Akhilesh Singh, the team has now been divided and has started their work by visiting the home of Sona Sheikh, whose house was set on fire. Most of the bodies have recovered from the house including that of the newly married couple, Lily Khatun and her husband.

By April 7, the CBI has to file a status report, in the Calcutta High Court. The HC ordered a probe by the Central agency on Friday. The court – which took up the case suo motu – had denied the Mamata Banerjee government’s request not to hand over the investigation to the CBI.

Fighting a political backlash over the killings, the CM had alleged that “something big” was behind the incident.

“I never believed something so barbaric can happen in modern Bengal. Mothers and children were killed. Your family members died but it is my heart that was crushed,” Mamata Banerjee said, being surrounded by the family members of those killed, besides villagers.

She alleged that it is a bigger conspiracy and called for a “stringent action” and said that police will be investigating all the angles. 

BJP has demanded a central investigation, alleging that the Trinamool Congress’s local leaders were involved in the murders. The party also called for President’s Rule in the state.

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