West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is on a spree to fulfil her poll promises.
Two days after pushing through the Singur bill, Banerjee on Thursday ordered a judicial probe into the Sainbari killings in Burdwan, in which former industry minister Nirupam Sen is an accused. The commission, to be headed by retired justice Arunabha Basu, would also probe the mysterious 2008 death of Kallol Sur, block development officer of Daspur in West Midnapore.
While the surviving members of the Sain family welcomed the fresh judicial probe, Sen called it “political vendetta”. CPM central committee member Benoy Konar and senior leader Anil Basu are also among the 83 accused in the FIR. “We are confident of getting justice now,” said Swarnalata Josh, sister of the Sains, one of whom was killed in front of their mother.
Brothers Malay and Pranab Sain, and their family tutor Jiten Roy, were allegedly killed by CPM leaders on March 17, 1970. Justice Tarapada Mukherjee Commission, set up by former chief minister Siddhartha Shankar Ray in 1973, had probed the killings. The report said a CPM procession was deliberately taken from where the Sain family lived, to provoke the Congress activists. It, however, did not name any CPM leader as accused. After the Left Front government assumed power in 1977, all the accused were relieved of all the charges.
Sur died under mysterious circumstances in April 2008. Although it was found to be a suicide, his parents alleged their son was murdered. They said he tried to unveil corruption related to the rural job guarantee scheme. At a poll rally in Daspur, Banerjee had promised a judicial probe into Sur’s death.