Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Friday ordered a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the arson, which killed at least eight people at Bogtui village in West Bengal’s Birbhum district.
The Calcutta High Court has asked the Bengal government to cooperate with the CBI in the probe. Earlier, the Calcutta High Court had taken suo moto cognisance of the arson.
On Thursday, police arrested Trinamool Congress (TMC)’s Rampurhat Block 1 president Anarul Hossain was arrested in connection with the Birbhum arson hours after West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s directive. Mamata had visited Bogtui on Thursday and offered Rs 2 lakh to each family for the repairing of the houses, Rs 5 lakh and government jobs to the kin of the victims and Rs 50,000 to all injured.
“I know money and government jobs can’t be a compensation. But one needs to live. For that I would offer the money as compensation,” she said.
Though TMC strongman Anubrata Mondal initially rubbished the incident saying the burning took place due to “short circuit”, Mamata acknowledged the mass killing directing police to take stringent actions.
The incident so far…
Deputy chief of the ruling 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 21 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.
India Blooms News Service