Several burnt human bones and ashes were discovered from the five graves found at Bidyapith village in the CPI(M) stronghold of Khejuri, adjacent to Nandigram on Thursday.
The graves, guarded by a 15-member Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) team after their discovery on Wednesday, were dug after Contai Judicial Magistrate Jaiprakash Singh arrived on Thursday afternoon, Superintendent of Police, Midnapore (East), S.S. Panda said.
Deputy Inspector General, CRPF, Alok Raj confirmed that the burnt bones belonged to humans. “Besides the bones, we have also recovered tyre wires, jute stems and wood from the graves,” he said. But no skulls were recovered. Senior CBI officers led by Joint Director Arun Kumar who visited the spot said the police would conduct forensic tests on the bones. “If required we will also conduct DNA tests,” Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia said.
People who had come forward to claim the bodies on Wednesday were missing on Thursday. “There were not found in the locality,” Panda said. While the Trinamool Congress claimed that the bodies were those of persons missing from Nandigram for a long time, CPI(M) leaders claimed they belonged to persons who died in a bomb blast. “The bodies were buried there after the post mortem,” claimed CPI(M) Central Committee member Shyamal Chakraborty. “When you can find half-burnt skulls in cremation grounds, there is nothing abnormal here. Don’t try to find meaning in it,” Chakraborty said.
He claimed that post mortems had been conducted on the bodies and they were half-burned because of lack of firewood. “You should wait two to three days for the details,” he said.
Local Trinamool Congress leader Subhendu Adhikari alleged that altogether 27 people are missing from the area after the March 14 when the police opened fired at innocent villagers. “These people were dragged towards Khejuri and killed. The police have also recovered the skeletal remains of the five persons,” he told HT.
Niranjan Sihi, Zilla Shabhadipati of East Midnapore, also asserted that there was no foul play involved. “The Opposition may cry foul but all their hopes will be dashed after the forensic science reports come in,” he said.