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Govt murder case plea

Rampurhat, March 18: The government has appealed to the fast-track first court in Rampurhat seeking withdrawal of a 2010 murder case against a group of 23 youths, who switched allegiance from Forward Bloc to Trinamul after the party came to power in 2011.

The youths are accused in the murder of a Forward Bloc member.

Sources said the public prosecutor of Birbhum, Ranjit Ganguly, submitted a petition on March 14 under Section 321 of the CrPC, saying the case “is miserably lacking sufficient evidence”.

Subroto Mookerjee, a senior high court lawyer, said: “As the accused persons have not been convicted yet, the state can withdraw the case but only with the court’s consent.”

Ganguly said the court would hear the plea on April 22.

According to the case records, Forward Bloc worker Ruhul Amin, who drove a tractor in his village, Muraroi, was hacked to death in April 2010 by a group of youths who were workers of his party then.

“One of the accused is Najimuddin Sheikh, who owned the tractor Ruhul drove. Ruhul and Najimuddin had a quarrel over the money Ruhul earned by driving the tractor for farmers. Najimuddin suspected that Ruhul had not been giving him the entire amount he was getting,” said the lawyer who appeared for the slain worker’s wife Rexona Bewa.

The 40-year-old woman has written to chief minister Mamata Banerjee, governor M.K. Narayanan, Chief Justice A.K. Mishra of Calcutta High Court and district magistrate J.P. Meena, urging them not to allow the withdrawal.

Asked about the 23 accused being Trinamul supporters, the party’s block chief, Ajit Dutta, said: “All the 23 accused were then Forward Bloc workers and joined our party after the 2011 Assembly polls.”

A Bloc leader confirmed that the 23 were once party activists.