The Central Bureau of Investigation has been told to take over the case of eight people burned alive in Birbhum West Bengal. The Calcutta High Court transferred the case to the CBI after denying Mamata Banerjee’s government request not to hand over the investigation to the central agency.
Eight people – all women and children – were beaten and burned alive by rioters on Tuesday.
The Special Investigation Team formed by the Bengal government will now hand over the case to the CBI. A Calcutta High Court division bench comprising Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice R Bharadwaj told the CBI to file a progress report by April 7.
Ms Banerjee said the suspects would be hunted down if they did not surrender. Fighting an angry political reaction over the brutal killings and accusations by the opposition BJP of allowing political violence, the Chief Minister also claimed that “something big” was behind the incident.
The Chief Minister has stated he is wary of his rivals who politicize the incident. Ms Banerjee and the BJP’s leadership center have long clashed in a number of areas and the latest incident may just open up another division.
Six women and two children were locked in their homes and burned alive by rioters on Tuesday in the village of Bogtui near the town of Rampurhat, in what is believed to be retaliation after a local Trinamool Congress leader, Bhadu Sheikh, was killed in a bomb attack raw. The charred bodies were found a day later, mostly belonging to one family.