Five fresh graves were found by the CRPF at a deserted spot in Nandigram on Wednesday even as the West Bengal government moved a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the Calcutta High Court judgment indicting the state administration for "unjustified" firing on innocent people on March 14.
The state government described the November 16 High Court verdict on the alleged excesses of the state police as a "premature conclusion" arrived at without without properly evaluating the evidence on record. The state government said the High Court should not have passed strictures against it.
The petition argued that the High Court's finding of unconstitutionality had pre-judged and foreclosed the entire issue and would bind the CBI, thereby rendering the inquiry infructuous.
The state also took objection to the High Court "summarily" deciding the quantum of compensation without appointing a committee to ascertain the nature, extent and cause of the injuries sustained by each of the victims.
The High Court had directed the state administration to pay a compensation of Rs. five lakh to the families of each of the 14 people killed. In Nandigram's Khejuri area, the finding of the graves beside a road fuelled speculation that they were dug for persons killed by CPI(M) cadres in Sonachura on November 10.
Some villagers however claimed that the graves were those of half-burnt and mutilated bodies of CPI(M) cadres killed while they were making bombs in Sher Khan Chowk on October 28.
The CRPF team reached the spot after receiving a tip-off but found no Muslim populace or Hindu crematorium nearby. This raised questions about why the bodies were buried at such a location, which is near the CPI(M)'s Kunjapur office.
"It's pretty suspicious. The bodies can be identified only after the post mortem and other tests but we are at a loss to understand why someone would bury bodies at such a location," said DIG Aloke Raj of the CRPF.
The CRPF has cordoned off the area after handing the case over to the police who will arrange for permission to exhume the bodies before post mortems, forensic and DNA tests are conducted on them.