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'Will Weaken, Interfere With CBI Probe': WB CM Mamata on BJP Report on Birbhum

"They have mentioned my district president's name. This is biased and vindictive attitude," she said.

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West Bengal (WB) Chief Minister (CM) Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday, 30 March, said a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fact-finding panel's report on the Birbhum massacre would "weaken and interfere" with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the matter.

The report, which said that West Bengal was in the grip of the "mafia" led by Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC), and law and order had crashed in the state, would be submitted to the saffron party president JP Nadda.

Nine people died after violence broke out in West Bengal's Birbhum district on 21 March, wherein nearly 10-12 houses were set ablaze amid protests over the alleged murder of a leader from the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) named Bhadu Sheikh.

Banerjee said that the report included the name of TMC Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal, which "clearly shows the vindictive attitude of the BJP".

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"The BJP report on Bogtui killings will weaken and interfere with the probe. I condemn this attitude of the saffron party," Banerjee said, according to PTI.

"They have mentioned my district president's name. This is biased and vindictive attitude. Without completion of probe, how can they name him? It shows they want him to get arrested. This is personal vendetta. They are hatching a conspiracy," she added.

Banerjee also said that no political party should interfere in the investigation.

The CBI took over the investigation of the case from the state government after the Calcutta High Court handed it to the agency. The court was not satisfied with the state-appointed SIT's probe report.

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What Did the BJP Fact-Finding Team Report Say?

According to the BJP fact-finding team's report, the killings resulted from "state-sponsored extortion, goonda tax, cut-money, and tolabaji", referring to the terms used for taking bribes by TMC leaders.

The report further stated that the rivalry over bribe amounts between the beneficiaries was another reason.

"Local residents have deserted their homes fearing a threat to their life and property," the report claimed.

The report also recommended that bodies like the National Human Rights Commission and the National Commission for Women visit the village and help bring the villagers back through confidence-building measures.

The BJP team further said that only after the saffron party's team had reached Kolkata did Banerjee decide to visit the village. They also claimed that the fact-finding team was stopped by TMC "goons" because of Banerjee's "forced visit".

"Not even a single officer or constable was visible, and no one came to the rescue of the fact-finding team when they were attacked," said the panel report.

The report said that attempts to contact senior police officers had also failed.

(With inputs from NDTV and PTI.)

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