West Bengal’s Birbhum violence: Calcutta HC takes suo moto cognizance

Two days after at least eight people were burnt to death in the wave of violence that erupted in West Bengal’s Birbhum district, the Calcutta High Court took suo moto cognizance of the incident.

Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava is set to hear the matter on Wednesday at 2 PM.

An angry mob set at least eight houses on fire, resulting in eight deaths, including that of women and children, shortly after the murder of Trinamool Congress deputy Panchayat chief Bhadu Sheikh in Bogtui village on Monday.

While the police have denied a political angle, a Special Investigation Team headed by ADG CID Gyanwant Singh was set up to look into the incident.

Two FIRs have been filed in the case — one over deputy pradhan Bhadu Sheikh’s killing and the other over the attack on the houses and eight deaths. Eleven people have been arrested in the second case.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah sought a report from the state government.

Opposition parties BJP, Congress and CPI(M) targetted the TMC government for the “deteriorating law and order” in the state.

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition has been filed in the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday seeking an investigation by either the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the incident, Live Law reported.

“Due to such murder of deceased Bhadu Sk a serious law and order problem has been created at Rampurhat under Rampurhat Police Station in the District of Birbhum. The panic has also been created in the minds of the public of the local area and in the District of Birbhum as well. The local police is totally inactive without controlling the present situation and the public at large are lying at the mercy of the goons…and as such it is difficult for the public at large of Rampurhat to lead normal life with peace and tranquility”, the plea avers.