|File picture of protesters at a rally demanding a CBI probe into the murder of CPI (M-L) member Gangaram Koul,
Guwahati, Aug. 9: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has turned down the Assam governmentís request to take up the Gangaram Koul murder case because of manpower shortage.
Koul, a CPI (M-L) member and a tea community leader, was hacked to death by unknown assailants at Panitola in Tinsukia district of Assam on March 25 this year.
An official source today said the CBI was facing a serious manpower crunch and had expressed its inability to take up any new case.
The Assam government had moved the Centre in April, seeking a CBI probe into the murder in which the name of Raju Sahu, the Congress MLA from Chabua and a parliamentary secretary, had surfaced.
Koulís supporters have alleged that Sahu was involved in the murder. The CPI (M-L) Tinsukia district committee had lodged a complaint against six persons, including Sahu, alleging their involvement in the murder.
The MLA has, however, persistently denied the allegation.
The source said the state government has requested the department of personnel and training (DoPT) under the Union ministry of personnel, public grievances and pensions, to reconsider ordering a CBI probe into Koulís killing. The state government has written to the DoPT since the CBI is under its administrative control.
The Koul murder case is currently being investigated by the CID of Assam police.
Koulís widow, Sokhila Munda, had demanded a CBI inquiry into the murder, claiming that her husband was killed because he stood up against injustice and raised his voice against corruption.
Koul, 43, was also the general secretary of the Assam Sangrami Chah Shramik Sangha. He had contested elections from Chabua Assembly seat twice. He drew the ire of some Congress leaders for being vocal against corruption in the public distribution system and other schemes.
The source said the state government has also requested the DoPT to take up four more rhino poaching cases. At present, the CBI is investigating three cases of rhino poaching.
ďIn February this year, the state government had referred seven rhino poaching cases to the CBI but the investigation agency accepted only three. The state government has now requested the DoPT to ask CBI to take up investigation into the remaining four cases too,Ē the source said.
The state government had also moved the Centre in May this year, seeking CBI investigation into 15 cases of cheating involving deposit-collecting companies. But it is yet to receive any response from the CBI, he added.
Most of the deposit-collecting companies have their head-offices in Calcutta. They have allegedly duped a large number of people in the state by collecting huge sums of money, promising high returns on their investments.