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Lalgarh killings

The Bar Association of Calcutta High Court Monday filed a public interest litigation (PIL), seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the Jan 7 killings of villagers in West Midnapore district.

The PIL also sought adequate compensation for the families of the seven who were killed and the 20 others wounded in firing in the village close to the Maoist hub of Lalgarh.

The central government was made a respondent in the case as the PIL quoted missives from Home Minister P.Chidambaram.

Additional Solicitor General Farook Razzak, who represented the central government, said the CBI was impartial and competent to carry out the probe. ‘In my opinion, CBI is the appropriate authority. We support the cause that the CBI should investigate the case,’ he said.

Razzak pleaded before the division bench of Chief Justice J.N.Patel and Justice Asim Kumar Roy that if a CBI inquiry has to be ordered, it should be done expeditiously. A delayed investigation will yield no result.

Representing the petitioner, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy accused the West Bengal government of inaction on the matter.

‘The first information report (FIR) was filed 24 hours after the killings even though the nearest police station is just 3 km away from the spot. Again the state police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) started its investigation two days after the incident,’ Roy contended before the court.

He alleged that the CID was more interested in wiping out the evidences rather than finding the culprits.

Apprehending recurrence of the incident, the Bar Association prayed for the court’s intervention for a CBI investigation.

State Advocate General Balai Roy contented that the CID was competent enough to carry out the investigation and that there was no need for CBI investigation.

The division bench, after hearing both the parties, ordered the state government to send an officer of the rank of deputy inspector general (DIG) to Lalgarh police station to collect the case diary and produce it before the court immediately.

The matter is slated for hearing Tuesday.


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