Kolkata, Feb 27 (IANS) A court in West Bengal’s West Midnapore district Sunday sent two Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leaders to 14 days judicial custody for their alleged role in the Jan 7 Netai shootings which left nine people dead and several injured, police said.
“Abani Singh and Ashwini Chlak were presented before the Jhargram court and remanded to judicial custody for 14 days,” Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) Superintendent of Police and in-charge of Special Crime Branch (Kolkata) Arun Bothra said.
Nine people, including four women, were killed and 28 others 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 two local CPI-M leaders were arrested Feb 14 by the state police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID). They were later handed over to the CBI after it took over the investigation.
The Calcutta High Court, after hearing a public interest litigation filed by the Calcutta Bar Association seeking a CBI inquiry into the Netai killings, Feb 18 expressed dissatisfaction over the probe conducted by the CID and directed the state government to hand over the case to the CBI.
The other accused in the case are CPI-M Lalgarh local committee secretary Joydeb Giri and Rathin Dandapat, Tapan Dey and Fullora Mondal. All are absconding.
Meanwhile, CBI sleuths probing into the case visited Netai for the second day Sunday and met the locals. The officers also surveyed the house of Rathin Dandapat from where the assailants allegedly fired at the villagers.
Later Sunday afternoon, the CBI officers recovered few rounds of empty cartridges from a pond in Netai adjacent to Dandapat’s house.
“Two officers have been able to fish out total of 24 rounds of empty cartridges from the pond,” a senior CBI officer said.