Birbhum Massacre: CBI Names 22 People in FIR, Questions TMC's Anarul Hossain

The CBI stated that prima facie, the violence appeared to be in response to the murder of Bhadu Sheikh.

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A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team on Sunday, 27 March, named 22 suspects in its First Information Report (FIR) filed over the Birbhum massacre in which at least eight people were charred to death on 21 March.

The agency also questioned TMC's block president Anarul Hossain and brought ten of the accused, including Hossain, to the CBI camp for questioning, reported ANI.

A temporary camp has been set up by the CBI at a government guest house in Rampurhat.

Earlier, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had promised that Hossain would be arrested for not informing the police, which could have helped them prevent the crime.

Meanwhile, Hossain said it was a conspiracy by his opponents while being taken away for questioning by the CBI.

The CBI will also visit a hospital on Sunday to interact with those injured in the violence, an official of the agency said, reported PTI. The CBI will also talk to local people and fire brigade officials in connection with the probe.

"We will talk to a woman and three others, who were injured in the violence and are now undergoing treatment in a hospital, to get their version. We will also interact with local people in Bogtui village. The Central Forensic Science Laboratory personnel will continue their examinations," a CBI official told PTI.

"A list of the villagers has been prepared so that our officials can interact with them. We have requested the administration to find out those who fled the village," the CBI official said.

The central agency, which took over investigations into the case from the the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the West Bengal government, said that preliminary evidence suggests the violence was a possible act of revenge.

  • A team of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) CFSL officers arrived at the village.


According to the report, the CBI stated that prima facie, the violence appeared to be in response to the murder of Bhadu Sheikh – a TMC Panchayat leader on whom crude bombs were dropped by unknown assailants.

The CBI FIR also states that a "mob of 70-80" people had ransacked the houses of victims at Bogtui village in Birbhum district of West Bengal, following which they also set the structures on fire with the intention to "kill the persons inside."

Meanwhile, a team of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) CFSL officers arrived at the village on Saturday, 26 March, in order to conduct investigations around the house where eight people were burnt alive.


West Bengal Police Recovers Crude Bombs From Birbhum

West Bengal police recovered crude bombs from Sikandarpur village of Birbhum on Sunday, officials said, according to ANI.

The bombs were found inside a plastic bag near a football ground. CID later called a bomb squad team to defuse the bombs.


When Calcutta HC Slammed Bengal SIT

On Friday, 25 March, the Calcutta High Court had said that it was ordering the CBI to take over the case.

Following the court's directive, a forensic team of the CBI arrived at 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 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.

(With inputs from ANI.)

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