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Kamduni family seeks CBI probe

The family of the Kamduni rape-murder victim has moved the Supreme Court seeking an order for a CBI probe and challenging Calcutta High Court’s decision to shift the trial venue from Barasat to the city.

The special leave petition the family moved in the apex court on Wednesday described as “incomplete” the CID probe into the rape and murder of a college girl in Kamduni on June 7.

While filing the petition, counsel for the family found that the state government had filed a caveat requesting the apex court not to issue any order without hearing it.

A caveat — or a legal application — is generally filed by a party that apprehends a challenge to an order delivered in its favour by a lower court.

“It would have been understandable had the accused filed the caveat. But for the state to do so is strange,” said a senior criminal lawyer.

The high court had shifted the trial venue from a fast-track court in Barasat to the sessions court in Calcutta, 30km away, following a petition by the accused.

Anandamoy Bhattacharya, the investigating officer in the case, had also moved a petition in the high court praying for an order to speed up the trial at the Barasat court and indirectly supporting the plea of the accused to change the trial venue.

The Barasat court had pointed out several loopholes in the CID’s investigation and dubbed its initial chargesheet “incomplete”.

Seen against that backdrop, the caveat prompted many lawyers to allege that the state was siding with the accused. “It virtually proves our allegations about the state’s role,” said Jayanta Narayan Chatterjee, the lawyer for the victim’s family who has been barred from appearing in the high court following objections from the state as well as the accused.

On Wednesday, the victim’s brother wrote to the chief justice of Calcutta High Court, Arun Mishra, praying for an order to change the public prosecutor.

The brother expressed fear that the family would be denied justice if special public prosecutor Dipak Ranjan Ghosh was not replaced by a “competent lawyer”.

The brother told Metro: “The special PP had opposed our lawyer when he prayed before the trial judge to allow him to join the proceedings. The special PP was not ready to take any help from our lawyer. Then who will be there to express our views?”

He said the family had “definite information” that the victim had been gang-raped, an assertion that goes against the CID finding that one person had committed the rape and murder. “The CID lapses prompted us to seek a CBI probe,” the brother said.

Drug arrest

A youth named Anarul Sardar has been arrested for allegedly running a racket selling drugs and cannabis. Sardar, 28, was picked up from Swarupnagar in North 24-Parganas during a raid by officers of airport police station and the detective department. The police said Sardar was arrested with 5kg of ganja and said during interrogation that he was also involved in several bike and car thefts.