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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 23 July 2024

Trinamul leader’s killing and Bogtui carnage inter-linked: HC

The division bench’s decision followed prayers by a section of lawyers demanding CBI probe into the Bhadu Sheikh murder case

Tapas Ghosh And Snehamoy Chakraborty Calcutta Published 09.04.22, 01:03 AM
One of the arrested persons being brought to Rampurhat court on Friday.

One of the arrested persons being brought to Rampurhat court on Friday. Telegraph photo

Calcutta High Court on Friday handed over the murder case of Bhadu Sheikh, the Trinamul deputy chief of Barshal gram panchayat whose killing had triggered the Bogtui carnage on March 21, to the CBI.

The division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj directed the CBI to conduct probe into the murder case and submit its preliminary report on May 4, when the issue would come for hearing.

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The division bench in its order mentioned that both Bogtui killings and Bhadu Sheikh murder cases were interlinked.

“So, investigation of both the cases should be conducted by the same investigating agency,” the Chief Justice remarked and asked the state police not to proceed with its investigation into the murder case any further.

The division bench’s decision followed prayers by a section of lawyers demanding CBI probe into the Bhadu Sheikh murder case.

“Bogtui killings followed the murder of Bhadu Sheikh. The high court had on March 25 handed over the Bogtui massacre to the CBI, while the state police continued to handle the Bhadu Sheikh murder. We informed the division bench that witnesses of Bogtui carnage were being threatened by certain political persons, who are asking them not to depose before the CBI or they would be implicated in Bhadu murder case. On the basis of our allegation, the court today (Friday) directed the CBI to probe Bhadu murder case,” said advocate Rabishankar Chattopadhyay.

While the court handed over the Bhadu murder case to the central investigative agency, the CBI on Friday produced four accused persons in the Bogtui carnage before a court in Birbhum’s Rampurhat. The four persons had been arrested in Mumbai on Thursday and brought to Rampurhat on transit remand. The court remanded them in seven days of CBI custody.

Among the four arrested persons, Bappa Sheikh and Sabu Sheikh, had been named in the initial FIR lodged by the police after the Bogtui carnage. Two others — Sirajul Islam and Taj Mohammed —were among the 70-80 goons who were among those who had carried out the carnage on the night of March 21 that had claimed nine persons.

CBI sources said Bappa had led the gang that set fire to several houses, including Sona Sheikh’s residence from where seven charred bodies were recovered on March 22.

“All the four were close associates of Lalon Sheikh who had planned the arson. Bappa had led the team to Bogtui after Bhadu Sheikh’s murder,” said a CBI source.

CBI sources also claimed that interrogating of the four arrested in Mumbai could also give leads into Bhadu’s murder.

The CBI on Friday suffered a setback as Rampurhat court on Friday denied permission to the investigative agency to carry out polygraph tests on six persons arrested by the special investigative team of the state government. The six persons have declined to take the test. The hearing for Trinamul block president Anarul Hossain’s polygraph test was deferred to April 13 as his lawyer was not present.

“Polygraph tests can’t be undertaken without the consent of the person concerned. As none of the six accused persons gave their consent before a judicial magistrate, the permission for the test was denied,” said Surajit Sinha, assistant public prosecutor of Rampurhat court.

Calcutta-based lawyer Anirban Guha Thakurta, who is the counsel for Anarul, told the court that the CBI was not following Supreme Court guidelines regarding the polygraph test.

He said that Anarul had been remanded in 14 days’ judicial custody.

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