On Thursday (February 24), the family of the murdered student leader Anish Khan in West Bengal demanded the arrest of Amta Trinamool Congress MLA Sukanta Kumar Paul in connection to the case.
As per reports, the deceased’s father Salem Khan led a protest outside the Amta police station in Howrah and demanded the arrest of 4 people. It included the deputy of local gram panchayat, officer-in-charge of Amta police station, and MLA Sukanta Kumar Paul.
While accusing the Trinamool Congress leader, Salem Khan said, “Anish had earned their wrath as he exposed their corruption and unholy nexus in the area. If they are not arrested, nothing will be served. Please do not deflect the issue by storming into the police station and attacking the junior level personnel.”
He further threatened to protest outside the office of the Superintendent of Police (Howrah Rural) if his demands are not met. Meanwhile, TMC MLA Sukanta Kumar Paul has dismissed allegations of his ‘involvement’ in the murder of Anish Khan.
In his defence, he claimed, “I don’t know what he has said. I don’t want to comment on it as an investigation is on. I want the truth to come out and the culprits to be booked. But I don’t know why after five days, my name is being dragged into it.”
Police came to steal my son’s body in the morning: Salem Khan
It must be mentioned that the Calcutta High Court had directed the SIT officials to exhume Anish Khan’s body for a second post-mortem. “A second postmortem examination will be conducted in the presence of the district judge of Howrah or his representative. The SIT must complete the probe expeditiously and file a report after 15 days,” the Court ordered.
When SIT officials turned up to collect the deceased’s body on Saturday (February 26) morning instead of Monday (February 28) as asked by the grieving family, Salem Khan alleged that the police wanted to steal his son’s body.
“I did not disobey the court’s verdict. The body will be exhumed as per the court order. I told the SIT members that I am physically ill and can be hospitalised. I had asked them for some extra time,” he told Anandabazar Patrika.
He claimed to have given in writing to the Special Investigation Team that he will himself hand over his son’s body on Monday. “Why did the police show up early on Saturday morning to pick up the body despite the clear instructions?… What else should I call it other than ‘stealing’? How can I trust the SIT now?” he asked.
The deceased’s brother Shabir Khan claimed, “My father (Salem Khan) is ill. When the members of the SIT came on Friday, they were given a written order to conduct the second autopsy on Monday. But they came over on Saturday morning to take the body. They must have come with a sinister purpose. This is why the villagers (in Amta) obstructed them.”
Family of deceased demand CBI investigation, court rejects
So far, the police have arrested two people, namely, civic volunteer Pritam Bhattacharya and home guard Kashinath Bera, in connection to the murder of Anish Khan. On Friday (February 25), Salem Khan attended a test identification (TI) parade, which was organised as per the directives of the Calcutta High Court.
However, Khan could not spot the accused who came to his house on the fateful night of February 18 and killed his son. “I could not spot the person from the two presented before me…I am not happy with the SIT investigation. I want a court-monitored CBI probe,” he emphasised.
The father of the deceased had earlier expressed his displeasure with a Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by the Mamata Banerjee government and had instead demanded an independent inquiry into the case.
The Calcutta High Court had, however, ruled out the possibility of a CBI probe and had asked Salem Khan and his family to instead co-operate with the SIT and allow the body to be exhumed for a second post-mortem.
The murder of Anish Khan
According to the family of the deceased student leader, Khan was killed on the night of February 18, 2022, by 4 uniformed police officers and civic volunteers. He was allegedly pushed from the 3rd floor of his own house in Amta in the Howrah district of West Bengal.
“It was around 12:30 am that four persons came to our house and identified themselves as policemen from the Amta police station. One of them stood with me on the ground floor. He was carrying a firearm. The other three took my son upstairs. Moments later, I heard a huge thud and found that my son was lying in a pool of blood. As I raised the alarm, all the four persons fled,” said Salem Khan, Anish Khan’s father.
The deceased was a member of the Islamist outfit ‘Indian Secular Front (ISF)’ and had protested against Mamata Banerjee’s government for 130 days.. His death had sparked protests in Kolkata and other parts of West Bengal.