KOLKATA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday expressed his condolences to the families of eight people who were massacred in West Bengal’s Birbhum, and said that the culprits should not be forgiven.
“I hope the state government will take strict action against the culprits. Those who encourage such criminals should not be forgiven,” PM Modi said while addressing an event on the occasion of Shaheed Diwas in Kolkata via video conference.
Meanwhile, Calcutta High Court has directed the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) of CBI to collect the necessary samples for forensic study from Birbhum’s Bogtui village where several houses were allegedly attacked and set on fire that claimed lives of at least 8 people including two minors following the death of local TMC leader Bhadu Sheikh.
Taking up the matter suo motu, a division bench led by Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava ordered that CCTVs be installed at the site of the incident. The High Court also directed the state government to produce a report on the incident by 2 pm on Thursday.
Police have arrested at least nine people in connection with the massacre and 11 people in the case of Bhadu Sheikh’s death.
The SDPO and OC of Rampurhat have been transferred and a district intelligence officer has been suspended.
“’The SIT is investigating the case,” Nagendra Tripathi, SP of Birbhum told The New Indian.
BJP leadership in the state alleged that the incident was orchestrated by the TMC and demanded President’s rule as well as Mamata Banerjee’s resignation from the post of CM.
“What has happened in Birbhum is horrible. At present, incidence of violence by hooligans affiliated to different political parties is on the rise in the state. In this case too, the toll is much higher than it is being projected,” said Tanmay Bhattacharya, a CPIM leader and former MLA from Dumdum, Kolkata.
“Our Chief Minister appears to be in shock. But, her reaction has come in really late. And now she wants to visit the site of the incident three days after it took place,” Bhattacharya added.
“The incident should not have happened in the first place,” said Moinul Hassan, one of the vice presidents in the TMC and former CPIM Rajya Sabha member. “The Chief Minister has already formed a Special Investigation Team and she will be visiting the spot on Thursday,” he added. He, however, refuted any possibility of a party rivalry. “This is a clear case of conspiracy. It will be revealed soon,” he said instead.