Calcutta, July 14: A Calcutta high court judge today wondered why the state government was opposing a CBI probe into a triple murder in Birbhum.
Justice Dipankar Dutta also viewed footage of an address by Trinamul MLA Manirul Islam after the government lawyer said he was unaware of such a speech.
MLA Manirul’s name had figured in the FIR on the murder of three brothers — Koton Sheikh, Turuk Sheikh and Dhanu Sheikh — on June 3, 2010. But the chargesheet that was filed four years later did not mention the MLA’s name.
On July 23, 2013 — three years after the murders — Manirul, who had by then become a Trinamul legislator, was seen delivering a rural-poll campaign speech that was video-graphed and widely broadcast and reported upon.
Footage of the purported speech by Manirul at Birbhum’s Sainthia shows him as saying: “Ami Labhpurer bidhayak, payer tol diye — maiyatar opor jara atyachar korechhilo, tader teen jonke payer tol diye mere diyechhi (I am the MLA from Labhpur. I have trampled to death three of those who tortured the girl).
Villagers have said they were unaware of such a torture and Manirul has not revealed any other detail.
The case reached the high court after the brothers’ octogenarian mother Zarina Biwi moved a petition.
In the court today, Justice Dutta asked government lawyer Samrat Sen: “The murders took place in June 2010 and the police filed the chargesheet four years after the incident. Why this delay? Why is your government opposing a CBI probe into the case? The government should seek an impartial investigation.”
Subrata Mukhopadhyay, the counsel appearing for Zarina, told the court: “Manirul left the Forward Bloc in 2009 and joined the Trinamul Congress. As a result, the three brothers had developed a political rivalry with Manirul.
“On June 3, 2010, Manirul called the three brothers to his home and Manirul and his brother killed them inside their house. In August 2010, both the brothers were arrested but as the police could not furnish the chargesheet within 90 days, they got bail.”
The lawyer added: “On July 23, 2013, Manirul… admitted that he had killed three persons and his speech is with the TV channels.”
The lawyer then handed over a pen drive to Justice Dutta.
Mukhopadhyay said: “The then officer-in-charge of Labhpur police station had submitted a report stating that Manirul and his brother Anarul Islam had masterminded the killings. But when the chargesheet was filed in June this year, Manirul’s name was dropped.”
The lawyer said it was a fit case for the CBI.
The judge asked Sen, the state lawyer: “Are you aware of the report submitted by the police?”
Justice Dutta: “Are you aware of Manirul’s speech?”
Justice Dutta: “The government should want that the truth comes out and the actual offenders are punished…. I will see the video footage in my chamber today and hear the case tomorrow.”
At 4.30pm, the judge saw the footage in the presence of lawyers from both sides.