“Not Justifying The Killings But…”: Mamata Banerjee On Birbhum Massacre

Kolkata: The BJP has upped the ante against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress over the Birbhum massacre. The BJP has demanded Mamata Banerjee’s resignation, and a probe by central agencies in the matter. Nine BJP MPs from West Bengal met Home Minister Amit Shah urging him to intervene in the matter. Responding to the opposition’s attacks, Banerjee said that she is not justifying the killings but such incidents are more frequent in UP, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, and Rajasthan.

The Calcutta High Court has registered a Sou Motu case in the violence of Rampurhat, in West Bengal’s Birbhum district which led to the death of eight people. According to News Agency ANI’s report, a bench headed by the Chief Justice will be hearing the matter today at 2 pm.

The matter will be heard by a bench comprising Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj.

At least eight people were burnt to death after their homes were set on fire by a violent mob. On Monday night a mob attacked in Birbhum of West Bengal, following the murder of a Trinamool Congress leader over a feud.

This incident has put the TMC government in a tight spot, unfolded at Boktui village in Rampurhat after a gang of four goons, travelling on two motorcycles with their faces covered, attacked on upa pradhan (deputy chief) Bhadu Sheikh of Boroshal gram panchayat, at a tea stall on Monday evening. He was taken to Rampurhat Hospital. He was declared brought dead by the doctors.

In the case so far 20 people have been arrested, a senior police official said, on March 23. Eleven people were arrested the same day.

“With nine more arrests, the number of those who have been caught in the case rose to 20. We are grilling them to find out if there were more people involved in the incident. Some accused seem to have fled the village. We are trying to trace them. Forensic experts were examining the ravaged houses to get an idea about the nature of the mishap,” news agency PTI quoted the officer. 

This morning, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar slammed Mamata Banerjee in a three-page letter for suggesting that there was a political conspiracy behind the violence. He also said the casualties may be higher.

Mamata Banerjee had appealed to the governor “to refrain from making unwarranted statements and to permit the administration for conducting an impartial probe” after he released a video yesterday saying human rights have been “decimated” and rule of law has “capsized” in the state. Taking a swipe at the ruling party, he said that the administration is “required to rise above partisan interests” which he claimed was “not being reflected in reality”.

“Your statements have political overtones supporting other political parties to browbeat Bengal government,” Mamata Banerjee had said in response.

“This is a ruse to shield the guilty of the ghastly crime. Already enough is in circulation about perpetrators of this savagery. Further, your assurance that “investigation will make all-out efforts to unearth all those who are behind the occurrence of the incident” is a far cry from reality,” the Governor said on Twitter, adding that “Politically caged” investigation in the state inspires no confidence.

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