The four persons arrested by the Central Bureau of India (CBI) from Mumbai in connection with the March 21 massacre at Bogtui village in West Bengal’s Birbhum district where nine persons were charred to death, were remanded to CBI custody till April 10 by a court on Thursday.
The accused have been identified as Bappa S.K. alias Sal Mohamad, Sabu S.K. alias Sadril, Taj Mohammad alias Chand, and Serajul S.K. alias Poltu.
The four accused were produced before the court on Thursday. After hearing the argument of the prosecution, the court sent all of them to CBI custody till April 10.
Earlier, the CBI had prepared a list of 21 accused, one of them being the Trinamool Congress’s block president Anarul Hossain.
The federal probe agency had set up a temporary camp in a government guest house in West Bengal’s Rampurhat. Earlier, the local police had also prepared a list of accused and the CBI’s list is almost exactly the same.
Hossain was questioned by the CBI. His statement was recorded and he was called to the camp to join the probe.
Following the orders of the Calcutta High Court, a team of forensic experts led by the CBI officials went to Rampurhat and collected samples on March 25.
Before the court order, the local police had lodged a case and had claimed to have arrested 10 people.
The BJP and the others had accused the Trinamool Congress of sheltering the accused. The BJP had charged West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with trying to cover up the incident. The Trinamool had denied all the charges.
After the Calcutta High Court order of handing over the probe to the CBI, the West Bengal government said that it would support the agency in conducting a fair probe.
Bhadu Sheikh, a Trinamool Congress leader and deputy president of Rampurhat village, was killed on March 21 by bike-borne assailants, after which a mob allegedly set fire to several houses. Next day, the police recovered the charred bodies of at least eight people, including children and women from a gutted house.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)