Kolkata, Feb 18 (IANS) Showing its dissatisfaction over the progress of the probe into the Jan 7 killings in Netai village, the Calcutta High Court Friday directed the West Bengal government to hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
A division bench, comprising Chief Justices J.N. Patel and Justice Ashim Kumar Roy, directed the state police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to hand over all documents related to the investigation of the case, as well as the two accused who were in its custody to the central investigation agency.
Nine people, including four women, were killed and 28 people were injured in the Jan 7 clashes triggered by assailants allegedly backed by the ruling Marxists in Netai near the Maoist stronghold Lalgarh in West Midnapore district.
The court also directed the state investigating department to extend all necessary help to the CBI as and when required.
The bench, which will monitor the investigation, also directed the CBI to submit a preliminary investigation report after 15 days when the matter will come up for hearing again.
The court order came after a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by the Calcutta Bar Association Jan 10, demanding a CBI probe into the incident and compensation for the victims’ kin and the injured.
It pointed out that one of the two people arrested, Abani Singh, had said during his interrogation that the armed camp at Netai village had been set up on the instruction of the Lalgarh local committee of the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).
“You should go to the top to find out who ordered the setting up of the armed camps in the Lalgarh area,” the court said.
Earlier, the high court had sought the government’s view on a CBI probe and asked to give Rs.200,000 to each of the victims’ kin, Rs.100,000 to the seriously injured and Rs.50,000 each to those injured.
State Home Secretary G.D. Goutama then filed an affidavit saying no CBI inquiry was needed as the CID was already investigating the case.