[Birbhum Violence] Calcutta High Court begins hearing; CBI submits preliminary report

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The Calcutta High Court on Thursday proceeded with the hearing in the case related to the violence in West Bengal Birbhum’s district in which eight people were burnt to death.

According to sources, the High Court has taken on record preliminary report submitted by CBI.

The Court has further reserved order in plea seeking CBI probe in the murder of TMC leader Bhadu Sheikh.

A total of nine people were burnt to death, including children, in the Rampurhat area of West Bengal's Birbhum on TMarch 21 after a mob allegedly set houses on fire following the murder of Trinamool Congress (TMC) panchayat official Bhadu Sheikh.

The FIR stated that as a result of the murder of one Bhadu SK (aka Trinamool Congress leader Bahadur Shaikh) of village Bogtui, serious tension cropped up in the area and as a retaliation to the said incident, the accused persons along with 70-80 other people formed an unruly mob and ransacked a few houses and set them on fire with a view to kill the persons inside and their family inmates.

As a result seven persons were charred to death and four others sustained severe burnt injuries on their persons, adds the FIR.

The dead bodies were sent to Rampurhat College and Hospital for post-mortem examination on March 22 after the police and fire brigade could manage to get inside the burnt houses.

The FIR further informed that the identities of the deceased person have not been established as of now.

After the Calcutta High Court previously ordered that the probe into the Birbhum massacre be taken over by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the central agency has filed its FIR in the case naming twenty two people as accused.

The High Court had further pointed out that it was found upon examination of the case diary that the investigation as expected, keeping in view the gravity of the offence, was not done.

The Calcutta High Court on March 23 had taken suo moto cognizance of the horrific killing in Rampurhat village in Birbhum district. The bench led by Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava had decided to hear the matter at 2 pm.

Accordingly, the High Court had directed the State of West Bengal to submit a status report/case diary in the incident by 2 PM on March 24.