TT Epaper
The Telegraph
 
CIMA Gallary

HC ‘shames’ CID for murder probe

Calcutta, Feb. 3: Calcutta High Court today admonished the CID for failing to conduct a “proper probe” into the murder of the father of a Trinamul rebel days after a hate speech by Birbhum party chief Anubrata Mondal.

Saying it was a “matter of shame” that the state investigating agency acted only when the court prodded it, Justice Dipankar Dutta said he would transfer the case to “any other higher agency” if the CID’s “progress report” was not satisfactory.

Sagar Ghosh was shot dead on July 21 last year by suspected Trinamul activists, four days after Mondal instructed cadres at a rally to “burn down” and “demolish” houses of party rebels contesting as Independents and “hurl bombs” at police if they came to the rescue.

Sagar’s son Hriday, who had unsuccessfully contested the rural polls as an Independent after being denied a Trinamul ticket, had alleged that Mondal’s speech had instigated Trinamul workers to attack his house.

Lawyers said that by “higher agency”, the court could have meant the CBI. Sagar’s family has filed a petition in the court demanding a probe by the central agency.

The FIR, lodged by Sagar’s wife and daughter-in-law, mentions Mondal’s name, among others. None of the 41 accused has been arrested.

When the matter came up for hearing today, Justice Dutta asked: “Under whose instructions is the CID conducting the probe? Why has it not yet done the test identification parade of the accused?”

He added: “It is a matter of shame that the CID takes steps only when the court tells it to do so. Till date, the investigating agency has not taken a single step to find out the real culprits.”

In December, Justice Dutta had ordered the CID to file a progress report on the case on January 27. But the agency failed to do so and was given a week’s time.

When the case came up for hearing today, state lawyer Sakya Sen submitted the report. After going through it, Justice Dutta instructed Sen to ask the investigating officer why he had not yet interrogated those named in the FIR.

After talking to the officer, who was present in the court, the lawyer told Justice Dutta: “They are absconding, My Lord.”

The judge asked: “Why were the TI parades not done?”

Neither the lawyer nor the officer answered.

After waiting for a few moments, the judge said: “Does the CID know how to deal with a murder case? What is going on? Under whose instruction is the probe being conducted?

“I am giving seven days’ time to the CID to make a proper inquiry and file the final report. If the report dissatisfies me, I will have no other option but to transfer the probe to any other higher agency.”

Told about the court’s comments, Trinamul leader Mondal said: “The law will take its own course.”

Trinamul sources said the court’s observation had caused embarrassment to the leadership, which had backed Mondal when he had openly criticised the Opposition, the police and the state election commission in the run-up to the panchayat polls.