'Police Totally Inactive, People At Mercy Of Goons': PIL Filed In Calcutta High Court For CBI/NIA Probe Into Rampurhat Violence

Update: 2022-03-22 14:17 GMT

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition has been filed in the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday seeking an investigation by either the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the incident of Rampurhat violence that erupted in the State of West Bengal. Shortly after the alleged murder of a Trinamool Congress deputy...

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A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition has been filed in the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday seeking an investigation by either the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the incident of Rampurhat violence that erupted in the State of West Bengal. 

Shortly after the alleged murder of a Trinamool Congress deputy panchayat chief at Bogtui village in Birbhum district, violence broke out in Rampurhat when a mob allegedly locked up 10-12 houses with the residents inside and set them on fire resulting in the death of 8 persons. 

The PIL filed by advocate Anindya Kumar Das seeks a probe by either the CBI or the NIA by averring that a 'serious law and order problem' has been created at Rampurhat and that public at large is lying at the mercy of local goons as the State police authorities have failed to abate the ongoing violence. 

"Due to such murder of deceased Bhadu Sk a serious law and order problem has been created at Rampurhat under Rampurhat Police Station in the District of Birbhum. The panic has also been created in the minds of the public of the local area and in the District of Birbhum as well. The local police is totally inactive without controlling the present situation and the public at large are lying at the mercy of the goons...and as such it is difficult for the public at large of Rampurhat to lead normal life with peace and tranquility", the plea avers. 

The petitioner further contended that it is a fit case for a probe to be conducted by the CBI as the State government has failed to protect the life and liberty of its citizens thereby violating the constitutional guarantee under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. 

The plea has also sought for adequate compensation to be granted to the families of the victims of the alleged violence. 

The matter was mentioned before a Bench comprising Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajrashi Bharadwaj on Tuesday following which the Court has agreed to adjudicate upon the matter soon. 

Background

On Monday evening, Bhadu Sheikh, the deputy pradhan (TMC) of Barishal Gram Panchayat under Rampurhat block 1 was allegedly killed when four men on motorcycles hurled a crude bomb at him. Sheikh was taken to the Rampurhat government hospital but was declared brought dead. His body has been brought to his native Bagtui village in Rampurhat.

Consequently, the police has filed an FIR in the case. Shortly after the death, violence broke out in Rampurhat when a mob allegedly locked up 10-12 houses with the residents inside and set them on fire. 

Taking cognisance of the violence, the State government has formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by the additional director general of police (CID), Gyanwant Singh, to probe the incident. The Sub Divisional Police Officer and in-charge of Rampurhat police station has also been removed from active policing duty.

The incident has led to a a war of words between the TMC and the BJP. The issue also resulted in BJP MLAs staging a walkout inside the West Bengal Legislative Assembly. 

Describing the death of eight people at Rampurhat as horrific, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Tuesday said it indicates that the state is in the grip of a culture of "violence and lawlessness". Calling upon the police to deal with the matter professionally, the Governor said that he has asked the state chief secretary to send him an update on the incident urgently.

Case Title: Anindya Kumar Das v. Union of India

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