In the Birbhum violence case of West Bengal, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has named 21 suspects under Section 147, 148, 149, and other Sections in FIR on suspected offence of armed rioting. Earlier on Saturday (26 March), a CBI team reached Bogtui village in Birbhum district and began its investigation into the violence that claimed eight lives. Director-General of Police (DGP) West Bengal, Manoj Malviya on Friday informed that 11 arrests have been made in the case so far.
Unidentified people had on 21 March set 10 houses on fire in the village, killing at least eight people, including women and children. The CBI team, consisting of around 20 members, went inside the house where charred bodies of seven people were found. “We are starting the investigation today. We have to conduct the probe on a war-footing as we have a deadline to meet,” said the CBI official.
Preliminary inquiry reveals that the killings came as a retaliation for the murder of Trinamool Congress leader Bhadu Sheikh. His followers and associates reportedly ransacked the houses of the persons and set fire to the houses with a view to kill the persons inside, as a result of which people were charred to death. Earlier, Trinamool Congress’s district president Anubrata Mondal had said that the fire could have been because of a short circuit. But the CBI’s FIR rules out his claims.
The Calcutta High Court on Friday handed over the investigation into the Birbhum killings to the CBI and set a deadline of 7 April to submit its progress report. The team is led by deputy inspector general of police (DIG) Akhilesh Singh and also includes Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) experts, who also visited the gutted houses and started collecting samples.