On Thursday (April 7), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) apprehended four accused in connection to the gruesome killing of 8 people in Bogtui village in Birbhum district of West Bengal.
The reports identified the accused as Serajul, Taj Mohammad, Shabu Sheikh and Bappa Sheikh. They had fled to Mumbai in Maharashtra on March 22, reportedly after committing the crime.
After arresting the accused, the CBI obtained a transit remand from a Mumbai court until April 10. As such, the four men were brought back to Kolkata in West Bengal on Friday (April 8) morning. This is the first arrest made by the central agency so far in connection to the Birbhum violence.
CBI makes first arrests in Birbhum killings, nabs four suspects from Mumbai: Official— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) April 7, 2022
A CBI official told the Press Trust of India, “We will be taking them to Rampurhat later in the day to speed up the investigation. They will be grilled along with other accused arrested there.” the official said.
Citing sources, The Indian Express had reported that the four accused were present in Rampurhat at the time of the incident. Later, they fled to Mumbai and were tracked by the central agency using their mobile tower locations.
Violence in Birbhum and case transfers to CBI
On March 22 night, a group of enraged miscreants set ablaze around 12 homes which resulted in the gruesome death of eight people including women and children in Birbhum’s Rampurhat.
The autopsy report of the burnt bodies showed that the victims were beaten before they were locked in their own homes and set ablaze. The gruesome killings are believed to have been orchestrated to avenge the alleged murder of TMC leader Bhadu Sheikh.
Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had issued a notice to the West Bengal government and the state’s police chief and requested a report within four weeks detailing the steps taken to ensure people’s safety. A TMC block President by the name of Anarul Hossain has been arrested so far.
In the aftermath of the Birbhum violence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued a strong message of condemnation and appealed to the State government to bring the perpetrators to justice.
On March 25, the Calcutta High Court transferred the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). On April 8, 2022, the Calcutta High Court directed the CBI to take over the probe into the ‘murder’ of TMC leader Bhadu Sheikh.