The family members of Mrityunjoy Barman, who died in alleged police firing in north Dinajpur, alleged on Friday that the police have not begun even a preliminary investigation into the death of the 33-year-old youth.
Not only has the death become a political issue with the BJP accusing the police of killing one of the party supporters in a cold-blooded manner, the episode has raised some pertinent questions about the law-and-order situation as no one in the police hierarchy has made any official comment on the death.
The ruling party in the state has also gone defensive on the issue though Mamata Baneerjee had expressed her displeasure with the role of police in handling violence in Kaliaganj on Wednesday when people protesting over the death of a minor girl attacked the cops and set the police station on fire.
Mrityunjoy died of bullet injury when the police raided the village in search of people involved in the arson.
“Almost 48 hours have passed and yet, not a single police officer has turned up in our village to investigate the reasons behind the death of my son... None from the civil administration met us as of now,” said Rabindranath, the deceased’s father.
“See the approach of the police... It’s clear that we will not get justice from them and that’s why we have demanded a CBI probe,” he added.
To explain lack of action by police, he mentioned that the used cartridge, which was found in the spot where Mrityunjoy’s body was found, had not been removed.
The only visible action that the police took till late on Friday was transferring Dipanjan Das, the inspector-in-charge of Kaliaganj police station, to the Government Railway Police (GRP) in Siliguri.
Subal Chandra Ghosh, who was in the post of GRP’s inspector in Siliguri, will replace Das.
Amid the discontent in the village about the role of the state police, Mrinal, the victim’s brother, filed an official complaint about the death at the SP’s office in Raiganj.
In the complaint, he mentioned that on Thursday early morning (at around 2am), a team of around 25 policemen reached Chandga, their village in Kaliaganj block, in three vehicles. They were apparently looking for Bishnu Barman, a BJP member of the local panchayat samiti, but couldn’t find him and then they picked up oneof his relatives, he statedin the complaint.
According to the one-page complaint in Bengali, Mrityunjoy intervened after seeing the police taking away their relative and urged them to release him.
“I have mentioned in the complaint that an assistant sub-inspector of police asked my brother his name. He replied and immediately the police officer, whose name I have mentioned in the complaint, shot my brother. The bullet pierced his chest and he died on the spot,” said Mrinal.
He mentioned that as the family is keen on a CBI probe, they lodged the official complaint, which is a formality.
In Chandga -- which is around 40 kilometres from Raiganj – villagers didn’t hide their discontent with the police and accused them of opening fire without any provocation and killing a youth in a “cold blooded manner”.
Sources in Raiganj Government Medical College & Hospital said that the post mortem confirmed death due to firing as a bullet had apparently pierced through Mrityunjoy’s right lung.
As the family is keen on a CBI probe, the body of Mrityunjoy was buried and local people were keeping a vigil in the area.
A number of calls made to senior police officers like Sana Akhtar, the superintendent of police posted in Raiganj, Anoop Jaiswal, the DIG of Raiganj and Ajay Kumar, the ADG of north Bengal went unanswered.
Trinamul leaders of the district, when asked about the incident, dodged a direct reply.
Kanaialal Agarwala, party’s district presidentin North Dinajpur, who went to the village yesterday night to pay homage to the slain youth, said they too want a comprehensive probe.
“We are with the family and want the state police to conduct a probe and find out the truth,” he said.
Abhishek Banerjee, party’s all-India general secretary, accused BJP for doing politics over dead bodies.
“The death of Mrityunjoy Barman is unfortunate. But see the BJP…… they have indulged into politics over the death.”