10 May 2022 7:11 AM GMT
The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday reserved its order on plea seeking cancellation of bail of two juvenile persons accused in the case pertaining to the violence in Birbhum district of West Bengal, in which ten persons were killed allegedly in retaliation to the murder of local All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Bhadu Sheikh. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is currently...
The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday reserved its order on plea seeking cancellation of bail of two juvenile persons accused in the case pertaining to the violence in Birbhum district of West Bengal, in which ten persons were killed allegedly in retaliation to the murder of local All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Bhadu Sheikh. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is currently probing the case.
The Court had earlier also transferred to the CBI the investigation the murder of local TMC leader Bhadu Sheikh that was followed by arson in Bogtui village, Rampurhat, Birbhum, that killed ten people, including two children.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj on the last date of hearing had been apprised that two juvenile accused persons in the case had been granted bail in an improper manner and hence a prayer had been made for the Court to take up the issue of cancellation for bail in exercise of its suo motu powers.
On Tuesday, the counsel appearing for the CBI apprised the Court that the Juvenile Justice Board in Suri had last earlier granted bail to the two minors without calling for the case diary and without any notice to the CBI. The Court was further informed that the name of one of the accused persons who had been granted bail had been mentioned in the dying declaration of the victim.
Accordingly, a prayer was made to issue notice to the concerned Juvenile Board as to how it could have passed the impugned orders granting bail without calling for the case diary pertaining to the investigation.
The counsel appearing for the CBI further contended that 'perversity is glaring' in the impugned orders and accordingly implored the Court to exercise its powers under Article 226 of the Constitution to stay the impugned orders.
Pursuant to the submissions, the Chief Justice orally remarked, "we will examine the issues and pass order".
In a related development, a PIL has also been filed in the High Court questioning the conduct of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in extending compensation and government jobs for the kin of the victims of the violence that erupted in Birbhum district of West Bengal. It was alleged that the Chief Minister had attempted to 'influence' witnesses by such a gesture.
The violence in Birbhum's Bogtui village took place following the alleged murder of Bhadu Sheikh, a panchayat leader of the ruling Trinamool Congress. He died after miscreants allegedly hurled bombs at him on March 21.
Hours later, violence erupted and several houses, including two belonging to the men accused of Sheikh's murder, were allegedly attacked and set on fire resulting in eight deaths, including that of women and children.
The police recovered eight charred bodies, primarily of women and children from the gutted houses in Bogtui village. Three victims were admitted to the local hospital. A woman who had received 25 percent burn injuries in the carnage succumbed to her injuries on Sunday. The death toll currently stands at ten.
Taking cognisance of the violence, the State government had formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by the additional director general of police (CID), Gyanwant Singh, to probe the incident. However, subsequently, the investigation was handed over to the CBI pursuant to the directions of the Calcutta High Court.
As part of its investigation, the CBI has reportedly moved a local court to seek permission for conducting polygraph tests on eight people arrested in the case, including TMC leader Anarul Hossain.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has also taken suo motu cognizance of the matter and issued notices to the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police, West Bengal calling for a detailed report in the matter within 4 weeks including the status for the FIRs registered in the matter, steps taken to ensure safety of the people in the village and any relief or rehabilitation provided by the State Government.
Case Title: The Court on its own Motion In re: The Brutal Incident of Bogtui Village, Rampurhat, Birbhum