Birbhum massacre: Calcutta HC takes suo moto cognizance
Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar slammed Mamata Banerjee in a three-page letter for suggesting that there was a political conspiracy behind the violence. He also said the casualties may be higher.
New Delhi: Calcutta High Court has taken suo moto hearing of brutal killing of 8 people in West Bengal’s Birbhum district. Eight people were charred to death in a village in the Birbhum district.
The Chief Justice headed bench has taken up the hearing of the matter. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condemned the incident but said that such incidents are more frequent in UP, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan.
BJP has demanded the resignation of the Chief Minister and urged the Union Home Minister to order for CBI probe in the matter. BJP MPs of West Bengal met the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, requested him to hand over the case to CBI.
"More than 200 BJP workers have been killed so far in the state. What is the government doing? This can't be tolerated," BJP MP Dilip Ghosh told ANI.
At least 20 people have been arrested so far in connection with the violence, a senior police officer said on Wednesday. Eleven people were arrested the same day.
"With nine more arrests, the number of those who have been caught in the case rose to 20. We are grilling them to find out if there were more people involved in the incident. Some accused seem to have fled the village. We are trying to trace them," news agency PTI reported quoting the officer.
He also stated that forensic experts were examining the ravaged houses to get an idea about the "nature of the mishap".
The killings were flagged by multiple BJP leaders, who said the entire region was in the grip of chaos and lawlessness.
"This is a ruse to shield the guilty of the ghastly crime. Already enough is in circulation about perpetrators of this savagery. Further, your assurance that "investigation will make all-out efforts to unearth all those who are behind the occurrence of the incident" is a far cry from reality," the Governor said on Twitter,
Locket Chatterjee, BJP MP from Hooghly, has claimed that about 20 people have been killed in the arson, "but no one knows the actual number because no one is being allowed to enter in Birbhum."
This morning, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar slammed Mamata Banerjee in a three-page letter for suggesting that there was a political conspiracy behind the violence. He also said the casualties may be higher.
Mamata Banerjee had urged the Governor "to refrain from making unwarranted statements and allow the administration to conduct an impartial probe" after he released a video yesterday saying human rights have been "decimated" and rule of law has "capsized" in the state. In an apparent swipe at the ruling party, he had said that the administration is "required to rise above partisan interests" which he claimed was "not being reflected in reality".
"Your statements have political overtones supporting other political parties to browbeat Bengal government," Mamata Banerjee had said in response.
In a harshly worded letter today, Mr Dhankhar said that he "cannot 'fiddle' in Raj Bhawan and be a mute spectator".
The Centre has sought a report on the alleged political violence. The BJP is also sending a fact-finding team to probe the biggest instance of violence since Mamata Banerjee's mega victory last year.
A Special Investigation Team has been formed to inquire into the incident. Bengal's top cop Manoj Malaviya said, "We are investigating how the houses caught fire and whether the incident is related to the death of the panchayat deputy chief of neighbouring Barshal village".