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After sleep, Nandi cop showcause

Calcutta, Feb. 1: Five IPS officers were served showcause notices by the home department today and asked to explain their alleged role in the March 14 police firing in Nandigram.

According to the CBI probe, the five officers — Satyajit Bandhopadhyay, Debasish Boral, Arun Kumar Gupta, N.R. Babu and Ganji Anil Srinivas — have been found to be “involved in different degrees” in the firing that claimed 14 lives.

“The five IPS officers have been asked to explain why action should not be taken against them for their role in the Nandigram firing,” a senior home department official said.

The Telegraph reported today that the government had reserved its opinion on the matter in the past seven months and wrote to the CBI in December asking it to “examine” former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee in the Nandigram case.

The government can start departmental action against the five officers if their explanation is found to be dissatisfactory.

The CBI had in May 2012 sought the state’s permission to chargesheet Bandhopadhyay and Boral, and recommended disciplinary action against the other three.

Bandhopadhyay, now the DC (eastern suburban division) of Calcutta police, was the additional SP of Howrah at the time of the firing. Boral, who is presently the SP of railway police (Kharagpur), was the then additional SP of Tamluk.

Gupta, now posted as ADG traffic, was the then IG of the western zone. Babu, who is now IG (railways), was the then DIG (Midnapore range). Srinivas, the then East Midnapore SP, is now posted as SP (telecommunication).

According to the CBI probe, sources said, Gupta, Srinivas, Boral and Bandhopadhyay were present at Nandigram’s Sonachura and Adhikaripara when the police had fired on villagers.

According to the general diary book of Nandigram police station, Babu was sitting there and “monitoring police movement”.

None of the five officers agreed to speak despite repeated attempts.