The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Shradh & sleuth at home

Singur (Hooghly), Dec. 21: CID officers interrogated Tapasi Malik’s family members and friends behind closed doors for around six hours today while her brothers performed her last rites.

A dozen officials led by special superintendent of police Arun Sharma visited Bajemelia village where 18-year-old Tapasi lived. The team split into three groups. While one inspected the scene of crime for around three hours, the other two visited huts in the western part of the village and questioned residents.

According to Sharma, not much headway has been made in the probe. “We are yet to know the reason behind the killing. However, we are sure there was more than one person involved in the incident and she (Tapasi) was forcibly taken to the spot before being set on fire,” Sharma said.

In the early hours on Monday, Tapasi was throttled and then dragged to the plot allotted for the Tatas’ small-car project, about 350 metres from her house, before being dumped into a pit and set on fire.

The government had yesterday announced a CBI inquiry into the incident. A CBI team visited the village last evening and this morning and had a word with Tapasi’s father Monoranjan.

A shaken Monoranjan shuttled between two rooms, guiding sons Surojit and Subhash on performing Tapasi’s last rites and answering the sleuths’ queries.

“I am trying to keep my emotions in control as both the shradh ceremony and the CID investigation are equally important to me. One will make sure that my daughter’s soul rests in peace while the other will help identify the killers and punish them,” he said.

An officer of the probe team said that though they are not expecting a breakthrough in the next couple of days, a person who has claimed to be an eyewitness would be interrogated tomorrow.

“We still do not have enough evidence to help us identify the culprits. The sniffer dog also failed to pick up the scent. But we believe that talking to the residents will help. More so, after we talk to a resident of Malikpara, who has claimed to have seen Tapasi on her way to the field on the fateful morning,” he said.

Bail blow to MLA

Trinamul Congress MLA Arabul Islam’s anticipatory bail plea in a case of rioting and attacking police at Bhangar has been rejected. He had allegedly incited people by spreading a rumour that the government was taking over farmland.

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