Federal probe ordered into Bengal carnage

A higher court in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata on Friday ordered the federal investigation agency to probe Tuesday’s carnage in West Bengal’s Birbhum district where at least eight people were burnt alive by a mob.

The High Court in Kolkata asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to submit its report by April 7.

“We are of the opinion that facts and circumstances of the case demand that in the interest of justice and to instil confidence in society and to have fair investigation to dig out the truth, it is necessary to hand over the investigation to the CBI,” the court said.

“We direct the state government to forthwith hand over the investigation to the CBI. We also direct the state authorities to extend full cooperation to the CBI in carrying out the investigation,” a division bench, comprising Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice R Bharadwaj, said.

The court’s order came despite the Bengal government promptly setting up a special investigation team to probe the massacre and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announcing monetary compensation as well as jobs for the families of the victims.

Six women and two children were burnt alive in the wee hours of Tuesday as goons went on a rampage, setting houses on fire, in Birbhum, 200 kms from state capital Kolkata, following the death of a local leader of the ruling Trinamool Congress in a crude bomb attack.

Last year, Bengal witnessed massive post-poll violence in which 16 people were killed, prompting the Indian Home Ministry to seek a report from the state administration.

In fact, on May 6, a day after she was sworn in as the chief minister of Bengal for the third time, Mamata Banerjee announced a compensation of Rs two lakh each for the families of the 16 victims.

Bucking anti-incumbency, Mamata scripted history on May 2 by single-handedly pulling off an astounding victory in the assembly election, staving off a massive challenge from India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

Source: United News of Bangladesh