CBI files partial chargesheet in Congress councillor’s murder; wants time for probe
Four people, including Asif Khan, a trader, Kalebar Singh, an alleged criminal, Tapan Kandu’s elder brother Naren, and the latter’s son, Dipak, were arrested by the Jhalda police before the CBI took over the probe
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday filed a partial chargesheet before the Purulia district court regarding the March 13 murder of Congress councillor Tapan Kandu in the district’s Jhalda area, officials said.
The chargesheet was submitted in a sealed envelope and the CBI prayed for more time to continue the investigation in which five people have been arrested so far by the district police and CBI.
CBI officials refused to comment on the contents of the chargesheet, saying it was partial in nature.
Nandalal Singhania, one of the lawyers for the defendants, said he was waiting for a copy of the document.
The CBI probe into Kandu’s murder was ordered by the Calcutta high court single judge bench of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha on April 4 that heard the petition of the victim’s widow, Purnima Kandu, who is also an elected Congress councillor.
“The real culprits should be punished. That’s all I want,” Purnima Kandu said on Tuesday.
Four people, including Asif Khan, a trader, Kalebar Singh, an alleged criminal, Tapan Kandu’s elder brother Naren, and the latter’s son, Dipak, were arrested by the Jhalda police before the CBI took over the probe.
The CBI arrested Satyaban Pramanik, a dhaba owner in April.
Dipak Kandu, who unsuccessfully contested the Jhalda civic body polls on a Trinamool Congress (TMC) ticket against his uncle, was the first person to be arrested on March 15.
In the Jhalda municipality elections that took place on February 27, the Congress and TMC won five seats each while two seats were wrested by Independent candidates. One Independent candidate later joined the TMC. The TMC formed the board on April 5 amid protests by Congress workers.
In April, Justice Mantha ordered the CBI to also investigate the suspected suicide by one of the key witnesses to the murder, Niranjan Baishnab.
On March 13, Kandu was shot from close range on a public road in front of several eyewitnesses, including Baishnab, who was the victim’s friend.
Baishnab was found hanging in his home on April 6; two days after the court ordered the CBI probe. A hand-written note found in his room said he could not take the pressure of being repeatedly summoned and questioned by the Jhalda police. His family filed a complaint against the police.
Purnima Kandu also alleged in her petition that TMC leaders and the police were involved in her husband’s murder.
The CBI probe is being conducted by deputy inspector general of police Akhilesh Singh.
On April 8, Singh questioned five Jhalda police personnel - a woman sub-inspector, two constables and two home guards - who were confined to their barracks following charges of dereliction of duty during the murder.
Purnima Kandu alleged that the police personnel, who were manning a security check point on the road, did not respond to the family’s request to rush to the crime scene which was within walking distance.
While ordering the CBI probe into Kandu’s murder, Justice Mantha made strong observations against the Purulia police which claimed that a sum of ₹7 lakh was given to the killers by Naren Kandu.