Birbhum Violence: CBI Takes Over Case After Calcutta High Court Order

At least eight people were charred to death in Birbhum in retaliation for a local TMC leader's murder.

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Hindi Female

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken over the case regarding the massacre in the Birbhum district of West Bengal, during which at least eight people were charred to death in retaliation for a local Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader's murder.

Earlier in the day, the Calcutta High Court had said that it was ordering the CBI to take over the case.

Hours later, a forensic team of the CBI arrived in the violence-torn village to begin their investigation into the matter.

A Bench of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj passed the order, saying, "We direct the state government to forthwith hand over the investigation to the CBI. We also direct state authorities to extend full cooperation to the CBI in carrying out the investigation," Bar and Bench reported.

The court also asked the CBI to submit its progress report on 7 April.

'No Effective Contributions of State SIT'

The court also stated that once the CBI takes over the case, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the West Bengal government will not be permitted to conduct an investigation.

The bench also slammed the state government's SIT, saying that it had not made any major contributions to the case.

The court on Thursday had taken the case diary submitted by state authorities on record and reserved its order in the case.

"The case diary of the incident has been produced before us. We have minutely examined it. We find that though the SIT was constituted on 22 March, till now there has been no effective contribution by the SIT to the investigation. It has been submitted that in spite of the fact that the police station is very near to the spot of incident, the police did not reach on time and persons trapped inside the houses kept on burning," India Today reported the Court as saying.

Several petitions had been filed against the formation of an SIT by the West Bengal government, arguing that it would serve as a "slave" of the administration, and had already made several contradictory statements.

(With inputs from Bar and Bench and India Today.)

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