The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Debu drags in local link

Calcutta/Delhi, June 30: CPM worker Debu Malik today said two of the four youths whom he had joined in raping and murdering Tapasi Malik were villagers from Singur and he remembered their faces.

Debu told the CBI he had seen these two youths earlier, too, and that they were from an area close to his village, Malikpara in Beraberi. And although he didn’t know them, he could identify them if he saw them again.

Tapasi, 18, a rising star of the land-resistance movement, was found charred to death on December 18 in a pit on the Tata Motors project site. The case rests almost entirely on the confessions of Debu, who has named the CPM’s Singur zonal committee secretary, Suhrid Dutta, as the mastermind who sent the four youths to kill the girl.

Both Suhrid and Debu were flown to Delhi today. Suhrid, who has denied the allegation claiming he was being framed, will be put through a polygraph (lie-detector) test on Monday.

Debu was produced before a Delhi magistrate this afternoon and made a three-and-a-half-hour confessional statement naming everyone he believed to be involved in the murder, CBI officials said. The magistrate stamped the 12-page statement, recorded in English, before it was sealed.

Debu had earlier said he didn’t know any of the four youths and had merely been a facilitator, identifying Tapasi for them and arranging the diesel used to burn her. But he had eventually confessed to having joined in raping and murdering her.

“He had said that two of the youths spoke in Bengali and two in Hindi. Now he has told us he had seen the two Bengali-speaking youths around Singur,” a CBI official said today.

“We will question him further to make sure he is not misleading us. But our main task is to crack Suhrid.”

“If the polygraph test shows Suhrid has been lying, we shall try to get him to reveal the names of the four youths,” a CBI official said.

The agency isn’t buying Debu’s claim that the two Hindi-speaking youths were “outsiders”.

In Siliguri, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee refused to comment on the CBI’s handling of the probe. “The CBI is doing its job, so let it,” he said.

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