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Central Probe Agency Names 21 Accused In Bengal Terrorism Case


Kolkata:

The Central Bureau of Investigation has named 21 people as accused in the Birbhum massacre, in which eight people were beaten and burned alive earlier this week, sparking political outrage. The list of accused is the same as the state police list, sources said.

About 20 people have been arrested after six women and two children-mostly single family members-were locked in their homes and burned alive by a mob in the village of Bogtui near the town of Rampurhat in Birbhum earlier this week. The attack was allegedly in retaliation for the murder of a local Trinamool Congress leader, Bhadu Sheikh, who died in a bomb attack.

The CBI team has set up a temporary camp at the government guest house in Rampurhat. Led by senior officer Akhilesh Singh, the team has now split up and started work.

The CBI will have to file a status report on its investigation on April 7 in the Calcutta High Court, which ordered an investigation by the Central agency on Friday. The court – which took up the suo motu case – has denied Mamata Banerjee’s government request not to hand over the investigation to the CBI.

Fighting the angry political reaction over the killings, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has claimed that “something big” was behind the incident.

“I never believed something so barbaric could happen in modern Bengal. Mothers and children were killed. Your family members died but my heart was broken,” said Mamata Banerjee, surrounded by family members and relatives of those killed, besides villagers . Claiming a larger conspiracy, he called for “firm action” and said police would investigate all angles.

At least 20 people have been detained by local police in connection with the incident. Two local police officers have been released on grounds of negligence.

Accusing that the Trinamool Congress was involved in the killings, the state’s opposition BJP has demanded a central investigation. The party also called for a Presidential Administration in the state.

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