MY KOLKATA EDUGRAPH
ADVERTISEMENT
regular-article-logo Thursday, 30 May 2024

Calcutta High Court orders probe by National Investigation Agency into Daribhit killings

On September 20, 2018, Tapash Barman and Rajesh Sarkar died of wounds suffered in suspected police firing

Tapas Ghosh, Kousik Sen Calcutta/Raiganj Published 11.05.23, 07:03 AM
Manju Barman, Tapash’s mother, with his photograph at their home in Daribhit village of North Dinajpur on Wednesday

Manju Barman, Tapash’s mother, with his photograph at their home in Daribhit village of North Dinajpur on Wednesday Kousik Sen

Calcutta High Court on Wednesday ordered a probe by the National Investigation Agency into the deaths of two youths in North Dinajpur’s Daribhit in suspected police firing in 2018.

On September 20, 2018, Tapash Barman and Rajesh Sarkar died of wounds suffered in suspected police firing near Daribhit High School in the Islampur sub-division of the district when they were protesting “faulty” appointment of teachers at the institution.

ADVERTISEMENT

After the deaths, their families buried their bodies in the locality and filed a petition in Calcutta High Court, seeking a CBI probe.

The state asked the CID to investigate as allegations had been levelled against the state police.

While issuing the order, Justice Rajasekhar Mantha of the high court observed that since explosives were used during the incident, an investigation would be conducted by the NIA.

He directed the stateauthorities to provide adequate financial compensation to the next of kin of the two victims.

Earlier, Justice Mantha had strongly criticised the role of the CID for its failure to trace the weapons used in the clash. He had also chided the police that had been sent to the spot to bring the situation under control. According to him, the police took no steps to disperse the mob.

The families of Rajesh and Tapash welcomed the court order.

“We are grateful to the court for ordering an NIAinvestigation as we neverhad faith in the state agency. Our sons fell to the police’s bullets and till date, no steps have been taken against those who had fired at them. We hope the NIA will unearth the truth,” said Manju, Tapash’s mother.

Calcutta High Court’s order came a few days after Manju and Nilkamal, Rajesh’s father, had expressed solidarity with the family of the minor girl who died last month and the family of Mrityunjoy Barman, the 33-year-old youth who also lost his life due to alleged police firing in Kaliaganj block of the district.

“Like us, both these families have sought a CBI investigation. We would ask them to have patience and faith in the judiciary. We waited for five years for this day,” said Nilkamal.

They would soon meet the bereaved families in Kaliaganj block to express their support, he said.

Sources in Calcutta High Court said the court had also expressed disgruntlement over the role of the state human rights commission.

“The court has left it to the NIA as to whether a post-mortem of the bodies of the youths would be conducted for the second time,” said a source.

BJP leaders, who were quick to pick up the issue as the Lok Sabha in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, said they would continue to extend their support to the families.

“We have echoed the demand for a CBI probe along with them at different forums and have even met the Prime Minister and Union home minister. Now we hope that the truth will be unveiled. Our party will continue to struggle until they get justice,” said Debasree Chaudhuri, the BJP MP of Raiganj.

Trinamul leaders, on the other hand, accused the BJP of trying to reap political dividends out of the issue.

“A specific agency will probe the case as per the order of Calcutta High Court. But the manner in which BJP leaders are trying to use the unfortunate incident for political interests is liable to be condemned. They are trying to play the same card by referring to the recent incidents of Kaliaganj,” said Kanaialal Agarwala, the Trinamul president of North Dinajpur.

Follow us on:
ADVERTISEMENT