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Long wait for Arms Act case on Manirul

Aug. 7: Birbhum police are yet to get the district magistrate’s permission to submit a supplementary chargesheet against Trinamul MLA Manirul Islam under the Arms Act in a triple-murder case though the request was made over one-and-a-half months ago.

Manirul was not mentioned in the chargesheet the police submitted following a four-year probe into the murders of three brothers in Birbhum’s Labhpur in 2010. The Trinamul MLA had been named in the FIR against 54 people.

“There is evidence against the MLA. We are ready to submit a chargesheet against him under the Arms Act. But for this, we need the district magistrate’s permission,” said an officer of Labhpur police station. “On June 19 this year, we sought the DM’s nod. We are yet to receive a green signal.”

The FIR had been lodged by Sanwar Sheikh, a brother of the victims. Manirul had been arrested in 2010 and he is out on bail. The three brothers were killed during a kangaroo court allegedly held at Manirul’s home to settle a business dispute.

The victims’ mother, Zarina Biwi, has alleged repeated threats by Manirul’s aides in the past few years, as a result of which she and her family had to change addresses frequently. Zarina is being provided police protection under orders of Calcutta High Court.

According to the police rulebook, the district magistrate’s permission is needed to file a chargesheet under the Arms Act. “After a letter seeking permission is sent, the DM’s office conducts an inquiry. Sometimes, the DM contacts the public prosecutor. But in most cases, we get the DM’s sanction within a span of two days to two weeks,” a police officer not related to the case said.

Asked about the reason behind the delay, Birbhum DM P. Mohan Gandhi said: “I have sent the report of our inquiry to the district superintendent of police. I am awaiting his reply.”

Police chief Alok Rajoria said he was yet to go through the report.

Ranjit Ganguly, the district public prosecutor at Suri court, said many applications seeking permission to file chargesheets under the Arms Act were pending with the DM.

“At least 500 such applications are pending with the DM,” he said.

Ganguly said the DM had not spoken to him about the application on Manirul.