Toll in Bengal’s Birbhum massacre rises to 10; woman dies in hospital | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Toll in Bengal’s Birbhum massacre rises to 10; woman dies in hospital

May 01, 2022 06:47 PM IST

The Calcutta high court division bench of chief justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj ordered a CBI probe into the massacre on March 25, taking the special investigation team (SIT) of the state police off the case although it arrested 22 people, including Anarul Hossain.

Kolkata: The death toll in the March 21 arson at Bogtui village in Bengal’s Birbhum district rose to 10 on Sunday, when a 50-year-old woman died at the local Rampurhat Medical College and Hospital, police said.

Atahara Bibi succumbed to burn injuries early on Sunday morning at the critical care unit of the state-run hospital where she was admitted for 40 days after her house was set on fire on March 21. (HT FILE PHOTO.)
Atahara Bibi succumbed to burn injuries early on Sunday morning at the critical care unit of the state-run hospital where she was admitted for 40 days after her house was set on fire on March 21. (HT FILE PHOTO.)

The victim, Atahara Bibi, succumbed to burn injuries early in the morning at the critical care unit of the state-run hospital where she was admitted for 40 days.

Of the 10 victims, one was a man while nine, including two minors, are women. The ninth victim, Najma Bibi, died at the same hospital on March 28.

The Calcutta high court division bench of chief justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj ordered a CBI probe into the massacre on March 25, taking the special investigation team (SIT) of the state police off the case although it arrested 22 people, including Anarul Hossain, the Rampurhat community block unit president of the Trinamool Congress (TMC).

Bogtui village is located within 150 metres of the busy Rampurhat town.

Around 10 houses in Bogtui were attacked and set on fire at about 9.30 pm on March 21 in retaliation to the murder of TMC panchayat leader Bhadu Sheikh, who was attacked with bombs by four motorcycle-borne men around 8.30 pm.

The CBI is also probing the murder of Bhadu Sheikh and his alleged involved in extortion and sand and stone smuggling from local quarries.

A CBI team visited Rampurhat Medical College and Hospital on Sunday to examine Atahara Bibi’s medical records.

The murder, and the killings that followed it, rocked the state with opposition parties targeting chief minister Mamata Banerjee who visited Bogtui village on March 24 and announced compensation for the victims. A few days later, she said in public that the attackers and the victims in both incidents were TMC supporters.

Anarul Hossain claimed that he surrendered to the police following Banerjee’s order.

After starting its investigation, the CBI took into custody the 22 people held by the state police and interrogated them. The agency arrested six more people, including Ritan Sheikh, an e-rickshaw driver who allegedly bought the petrol used in the arson.

A CBI team stationed at Rampurhat has seized several security camera recordings, including the one showing Bhadu Sheikh being murdered. A diary, containing the names and phone numbers of many people, was also recovered from an underground chamber at Bhadu Sheikh’s residence.

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