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Alleged Murder Of Student Leader Anish Khan: Calcutta HC Initiates Suo Moto Proceedings

Aaratrika Bhaumik
21 Feb 2022 12:22 PM GMT
Alleged Murder Of Student Leader Anish Khan: Calcutta HC Initiates Suo Moto Proceedings
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The Calcutta High Court on Monday took suo moto cognisance of the alleged murder of social activist Anis Khan in Amta in Howrah district. The incident led to widespread protests and demands for investigation by an independent agency.Earlier on Monday, an oral plea had been made before Justice Rajasekhar Mantha praying for the intervention of the Court by initiating a suo motu motion in...

The Calcutta High Court on Monday took suo moto cognisance of the alleged murder of social activist Anis Khan in Amta in Howrah district. The incident led to widespread protests and demands for investigation by an independent agency.

Earlier on Monday, an oral plea had been made before Justice Rajasekhar Mantha praying for the intervention of the Court by initiating a suo motu motion in finding out the persons responsible for the death of Anish Khan.

Senior advocate Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya submitted before the Court that it was a case of pre-planned murder and accordingly prayed before the Court to initiate suo moto proceedings.

On perusal of the submissions, Justice Mantha agreed to inmate suo moto proceedings. He observed, 

"Let the papers in the form of a list of dates and a notarized affidavit dated 21st February, 2022 be served on Mr. Amitesh Banerjee, learned Senior Standing Counsel for the State. Further, any other facts may also be communicated to Mr. Banerjee. Mr. Banerjee may take appropriate instructions from the State and make appropriate submissions on the adjourned date i.e. 24th February, 2022"

Terming the incident as 'grave and shocking', the Court further recorded in its order, 

"The matter was mentioned expressing extreme urgency. A grave and emergent situation is stated to have emerged. In a shocking turn of events, one Anis Khan who is a social activist is stated to have been murdered. The said Anis Khan is stated to have publicly raised voice, inter alia, against donations being demanded by educational institutions and the poor condition of certain hospitals in Uluberia."

The Court was apprised that on February 19,  civic Volunteers/personnel of the Amta Police, stated to be acting at the instance of the Bagnan Police had gone to interrogate Khan.  When the police reached his residence, they met his father on the ground floor and went up to the 3rd floor on the pretext of speaking to his son. It was further submitted that after reaching the 3rd floor, Khan was brutally beaten up by the Police, murdered and thrown over from the 3rd floor.

"It is submitted that the authorities with a view to placate the situation, have offered a job to the deceased Anis Khan's brother. It is also apprehended that investigation may be frustrated and compromised since allegations are primarily against the members of the ruling dispensation", the Court further recorded in its order. 

The petitioner was directed to prepare a comprehensive writ petition and serve a copy of the same to the State counsel. 

The matter is slated to be heard next on February 24.

Student activist Anish Khan was found dead at his home in Amta block in Howrah district in the early hours of Saturday, February 19, 2022. Khan's murder has also sparked a large-scale students' protest at the Aliah University of Kolkata, where he was enrolled in an integrated five-year-long Master of Business Administration (MBA) Course. Khan also played a pivotal role in the 137-day-long protest by Aliah University students against the state government's policies.

Alleging that four persons had come to their house on Friday night donning police and civic volunteer uniforms, Khan's father has claimed that his son was pushed off the third floor of their house in Amta. Khan's family has been demanding a CBI investigation into the death.

It may be noted that reportedly West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said a special investigation team (SIT) would inquire into the alleged incident. "An SIT will be set up to investigate the death of student leader Anis Khan. The chief secretary and the director general of the criminal investigation department will be part of the SIT. It will submit its report within 15 days. Every death is unfortunate. Anis was a good man. He was in touch with us and had even helped us during the election. Whoever is responsible for this will be caught and punished under law. I don't condone such acts. No one will be spared," Banerjee said.

Case Title: In the matter of Anis Khan 

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