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Monday, May 29, 2023

Kolkata’s Ekbalpur-Mominpur attack on Lakshmi Puja: NIA announces reward for 7 absconding accused

A special court of National Investigation Agency (NIA) probing the Ekbalpur-Mominpur clashes in Kolkata on October 9 last year on the occasion of ‘Lakshmi Puja’, issued a warrant against the seven absconding accused.

The NIA has announced an award of Rs 1,00,000 each for anyone who provides information about these seven absconding accused.

Even after thorough search, the NIA sleuths have been unable to track them as yet. Those names were also mentioned in the charge sheet filed by NIA at the special count in January this year.

A total of 14 persons were named in the 400-page charge sheet, out of whom seven have been arrested by the NIA sleuths, while seven others are still absconding.

In the next step, sources said, the NIA sleuths might start the legal procedure of confiscating their property.

The NIA sleuths suspect that these seven are hiding anywhere outside West Bengal.

The probe in the Ekbalpur-Mominpur clashes had been mired in controversy since the beginning. Before the NIA, a special investigation team (SIT of Kolkata took charge of the investigation and arrested 20 persons. However, surprisingly, all these 20 persons who were arrested by the SIT were acquitted of all charges in the NIA charge sheet. Sources said that NIA sleuths have not received any clue in the case against those 20 persons arrested by the city police earlier.

On January 4, the NIA team conducted raids at 17 locations in and around Kolkata in connection with the clash and recovered cash worth Rs 33.87 lakh from certain residences at Bhukailash Road and Mayurbhanj Road during their operations. Sharp-edged weapons and other incriminating items were also seized. During the course of the raid, the NIA team also faced resistance from the local residents.

The clashes broke out on the occasion of Lakshmi Puja and in the process of dispersing the violent mob, one officer in the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police was also injured. Police later detained 30 persons.

On October 19, the NIA took over the investigation in the matter from the Kolkata Police SIT.

On November 10, addressing an administrative review meeting in Nadia, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused the NIA of fuelling communal tensions in the state.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)

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