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Net closes in on Sushanta

Aug. 9: The CID today sought permission from a Midnapore court to arrest former minister Sushanta Ghosh over the murders of five Trinamul Congress supporters in West Midnapore’s Keshpur in 2002.

The CID’s move comes a day after DNA tests confirmed that two of the skeletons dug out by villagers in Keshpur this June were that of Ajay Acharya and Swapan Raju Singh, who were missing since September 22, 2002.

After the discovery of the skeletons, Acharya’s son Shyamal had filed an FIR charging Ghosh and 39 other CPM activists with the murder of his father.

The judge today agreed to extend Ghosh’s interim anticipatory bail till Thursday after his counsel, Raghunath Bhattacharjee, asked for time to study the CID’s petition seeking his client’s arrest.

Public prosecutor Rajdeep Majumdar, appearing on behalf of the CID, said the agency wanted Ghosh in its custody to get details of his alleged involvement in the murders.

A CID officer said they had managed to track down one witness to the murders.

“The witness, Gobinda Majhi of Godapiashole village in Keshpur, has told us that the five Trinamul supporters were being chased by a large group of CPM activists,” the CID officer said. “The five of them rushed into Gobinda’s house. But they were dragged out by the CPM activists, hacked and shot in the courtyard of his house.”

The officer said Gobinda and his family fled in fear. They returned home the next morning to find their cart missing. “He presumed that the bodies had been piled onto the cart and taken to be taken away,” the officer said.

“But Gobinda did not report the incident to anyone out of fear. The police, he said, would take no action against the culprits because they were CPM activists close to Ghosh.”

The three persons arrested in the case have told the police that the murders were planned by Ghosh, and he knew that the bodies were buried at Pasherbandh, about 6km from Gobinda’s house.

“We have a strong case against Ghosh,” the officer said. “Let’s see what happens on Thursday. We are hopeful of arresting him.”

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