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Bihar minister: CBI probe into officer’s lynching if BJP wins Bengal polls

Bihar minister Neeraj Kumar Singh, who met Kumar’s family in Bihar’s Purnia district along with his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) colleague and deputy chief minister Tarkishore Prasad, said the CBI probe will ensure justice to the family of the slain cop.
By Aditya Nath Jha
PUBLISHED ON APR 14, 2021 11:55 AM IST

Bihar minister Neeraj Kumar Singh has accused the Mamata Banerjee government of “patronising goons” and said a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe will be ordered into the lynching of a police officer from his state in West Bengal if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is voted to power there.

A mob lynched Ashwani Kumar, 51, the officer posted in Bihar’s Kishanganj, as he was leading a raiding party in pursuit of a bike snatching gang last Saturday in West Bengal’s North Dinajpur district. The alleged kingpin of the gang, Firoz Alam, who allegedly instigated the mob, has since been arrested. Kumar was killed as his seven colleagues fled. The Bengal police allegedly did not accompany the raiding team despite several requests. They have rejected the claim saying the team was advised to wait since the local police were busy with the assembly elections.

Singh, who met Kumar’s family in Bihar’s Purnia district along with his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) colleague and deputy chief minister Tarkishore Prasad, said the CBI probe will ensure justice. Prasad echoed Singh. “We will discuss the demand for a CBI probe raised by the family [of Ashwini Kumar]... with chief minister Nitish Kumar,” Prasad said. “If voted to power in Bengal, it would be easier for us to recommend...[the] CBI [probe] as...Bengal government’s recommendation is needed for [it]....”

The BJP hopes to wrest power from the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal after emerging as the second biggest party in the state in the 2019 national polls. The fifth of the eight-phase polling in the state will be held on Saturday before the results are declared on May 2.

There was no immediate response from the TMC.

Singh said Ashwini Kumar’s seven colleagues, who have been suspended over dereliction of duty pending a probe, will not be spared for abandoning him.

Singh and Prasad said they assured Ashwini Kumar’s family of full assistance including funding of the education of his three children.

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