In the interest of justice and considering the facts and circumstances of the case, the Calcutta High Court on Friday tasked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the Birbhum violence in West Bengal where at least 10 houses were gutted and eight persons were killed.
The CBI has been given time till April 7 to file its progress report on this incident.
The division bench led by Chief Justice Pankaj Shrivastava restrained the state-constituted Special Investigations Team (SIT) from further investigating the violence that allegedly broke out in retaliation to the murder of local TMC leader Bhadu Sheikh.
The high court on Wednesday took suo motu cognisance of the violence in the Birbhum district. Several PILs had also been filed on this issue. On Thursday, it took into account the case diaries submitted by West Bengal police and heard submissions filed by several petitioners who were nearly unanimous in their request to hand over the investigation of the case to the CBI or the NIA.
On March 21, Bhadu Sheikh, a deputy Pradhan, was allegedly killed by some miscreants. Hours later, in an alleged act of revenge killing, a mob killed at least eight people and gutted around 10 houses.
The Mamata Banerjee-led state government constituted an SIT to probe the incident, a move contested by the petitioners who had intervened in the high court's suo motu matter. The petitioners argued that the SIT would be a "slave of the ruling party" and further alleged that the state chose only those investigating officers who could be controlled.