Relatives of the deceased eight people who were mercilessly assaulted and burnt alive by unknown miscreants in West Bengal’s Birbhum district on the night of March 21 (Monday) have named TMC block president Anarul Hussain as the key conspirator of the attack. Mihilal Sheikh and Banirul, two relatives of the deceased victims also alleged the state police’s negligence in handling the case. The attack was believed to be retaliation after a local Trinamool Congress leader, Bhadu Sheikh, was killed in a crude bomb attack.
According to the victims, when the incident occurred, women and children had locked themselves in a room out of fear. The attackers were aware of this, still, they set the room ablaze. The victim’s family further claimed that not eight, but ten members of their household were burned to death on Monday night, and instead of returning the bodies to them, the police buried them in the village overnight.
“We could not contact the District Magistrate. But the police should have handed over the bodies to us. Instead, we learnt that they buried them at night in the village. This is unacceptable,” said Mihilal Sheikh.
The victim’s kin also refuted the allegation that the incident was an act of retribution for the killing of a panchayat official of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the state.
Mihilal’s brother disputed the police version as well as the family of the slain TMC leader, who accused Mihilal, his brother-in-law Sona, and Fatikh of murdering him. “He is a TMC deputy pradhan and leader in the village. We are just supporters of TMC. We cannot imagine doing such a thing. I had no enmity with him,” said Banirul.
Hussain, the TMC block president of Rampurhat, was arrested earlier today, hours after TMC chief and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee directed the police to nab him for not paying attention to local people’s apprehension of possible disturbance in the area, which ultimately led to the carnage.
NHRC sends notice to Mamata Banerjee govt seeking a report on massacre
Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued a notice to the West Bengal government and the state’s police chief on Thursday in connection with the killing of eight people in Birbhum district, officials said and requested a report within four weeks detailing the steps taken to ensure people’s safety.
The human rights body took to Twitter to share its press release on the recent brutal massacre in Birbhum. “NHRC takes suo motu cognizance of media reports on burning of 8 persons in #Birbhum district, West Bengal; Calls for reports from the State Government”, Tweeted NHRC.
NHRC takes suo motu cognizance of media reports on burning of 8 persons in #Birbhum district, West Bengal; Calls for reports from the State Government— NHRC India (@India_NHRC) March 24, 2022
Read: https://t.co/cl9AZkKKUB@chief_west @WBPolice @ANI @PTI_News @PIB_India
The press release read, “Issuing the notices, the Commission has also observed that going by the contents of the media reports, the incident of hate violence indicates that the law and order is not appropriate in the area.
“According to the media reports, the doctors at Rampurhat Government Hospital, where the bodies were taken for post-mortem, stated that the condition of the bodies made their work very difficult. It is further stated that the presence of blood suggests that the victims were first physically attacked and then the houses were put on fire,” read the NHRC press release.
According to a senior official, the NHRC has issued a notice to the West Bengal government through the chief secretary and the state’s director general of police (DGP) in connection with the killing of eight people in Bogtui village in Birbhum district.
The official added that the commission has requested a detailed report within four weeks, detailing the status of the FIRs registered, the steps taken to ensure the safety of the people in the village, and any relief or rehabilitation provided by the state government.
On March 22 late-night, a group of enraged miscreants set ablaze around 12 homes which resulted in the gruesome death of eight people including women and innocent children in Birbhum’s Rampurhat. The autopsy report of the burnt bodies shows that the people were beaten before they were locked in their homes before the houses were set on fire. The massacre had taken place in retaliation of the alleged murder of a TMC leader.