Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday took suo moto cognisance of the arson that killed at least 10 people at Bogtui village of Rampurhat in West Bengal’s Birbhum district after the incident triggered massive protests in the state. The hearing on the case will begin at 2 pm on Wednesday.
Deputy chief of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC)-ruled Barshal village panchayat, Bhadu Sheikh, was killed after five unidentified miscreants had hurled crude bombs at him at Bogtui village in Birbhum’s Rampurhat on Monday night.
After the TMC leader’s death was confirmed by a local hospital, tension erupted at Bogtui village and multiple houses in the area were allegedly ransacked and set on fire.
A state fire and emergency services official said three charred bodies had been recovered on Monday late night from a house.
Later on Tuesday morning, after dousing the blaze, firemen recovered seven more charred bodies from a burnt house.
Sources in the local hospital said there were several children and women among the victims.
A senior official of West Bengal police force said the state’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) will investigate the matter while a three-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) led by ADG CID Gyanwant Singh has already been formed.
After visiting the scene, Birbhum SP Nagendranath Tripathi said a forensic team will investigate the cause behind the house fire, while 20 people have been arrested so far.
A senior state police official said the Officer-in-Charge (OC) of the local police station and local SDPO have been ‘closed’ from duties.
Slamming the government, West Bengal Leader of Opposition (LoP) Suvendu Adhikari sought intervention from the central government. He is on way to Rampurhat with a delegation of the BJP MLAs on Wednesday. Adhikari has also demanded the President’s rule in the state, which has been ruled by the TMC since 2011.
India Blooms News Service