HC Orders CBI Probe on Bhirbhum Arson Attack
- SIT ordered to handover case to CBI.
- HC orders CBI to submit report in a week.
- Next hearing on April 7th.
West Bengal: The HC on Friday ordered a CBI probe into the overnight attack on civilians in Bhirbhum village, West Bengal. The transfer came in the backdrop of CM Mamata Banerjee’s request to refrain from handing over the case to the Central investigating agency.
A division bench of Calcutta HC comprising Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice R Bhardwaj handing over the case instructed the CBI to submit a report in a week. The court has scheduled the matter for the next hearing on April 7th.
According to the HC, circumstantial evidence and the impact of the incident indicated that the state police cannot probe the case. The court also stated that once the CBI takes over the case, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the West Bengal government will not be permitted to conduct an investigation. The court on Thursday had taken the case diary submitted by state authorities on record and reserved its order in the case regarding the Birbhum massacre.
Eight people including two children and three women were burnt alive on the intervening night of March 22nd in Bhibhum village. Amongst the dead also included newly wedded couple Lily- Khatoon and Qazi Sajidur. The attack is believed to be retaliation after a local TMC leader was killed in a crude bomb attack.