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regular-article-logo Monday, 26 February 2024

CID submits interim report on Sitalkuchi firing during state polls

The state government accused the involvement of central forces which allegedly fired at villagers. Four people were killed in the incident

Monalisa Chaudhuri Calcutta Published 12.11.21, 03:02 AM
The place of occurrence in Sitalkuchi.

The place of occurrence in Sitalkuchi. File photo

The state CID on Thursday placed its interim report before Calcutta High Court on the firing on April 10 poll day allegedly by central forces that claimed the lives of four villagers at Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar district.

The sealed report was submitted before a division bench of the court headed by Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava. The bench fixed January 12 for hearing and asked the CID to continue its probe meanwhile.

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“During the last hearing in September, the court had asked the state government to file an affidavit and submit a progress report on the probe,” said a source.

Sources said the CID report mainly dealt with the circumstances under which the CISF personnel opened fire and their conduct afterwards on that day.

The firing had heightened political debate during the Assembly polls. While Trinamul had dubbed the incident as “genocide” and blamed the central forces for unprovoked firing, the BJP had echoed the CISF justification that the firing was partly to protect the booth under attack and partly in self-defence.

The CID probe negated the BJP theories, said insiders. “The probe is based on the CCTV footage obtained from the polling premises.... It was clear the booth was locked from inside when the central forces opened fire outside. How can they claim that firing was necessary to protect the booth?” said a source in CID.

“Moreover, if protecting the booth was the reason for opening fire, why did the central forces flee leaving the booth and the EVM unmanned after firing?” the source added.

An investigator said central forces had violated guidelines citing that if someone is injured in firing by a law enforcing agency, it is the duty of the same agency to take the person to the hospital.

The CISF personnel had left the victims bleeding on the spot.

Additional reporting by Tapas Ghosh

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