statesman news service
KOLKATA, 21 JUNE: The state government today told a Division Bench of Calcutta High Court that it hadn’t given its nod to the CBI for taking action against government officers involved in the Nandigram carnage because the latter had identified only three such officers, while many more were involved.
Hearing this submission of state counsel, Mr Subrata Talukdar today, the Division Bench of Mr Justice Asim Banerjee and Mr Justice Mrinalkanti Choudhuri directed the CBI to give another clarification to the state government by 25 July.
“The clarification given by the CBI did not spell out why it wanted to take action against only three officers,” Mr Talukdar submitted. “As some other officers were also involved, the CBI clarification could not satisfy the state government.”
“The firing took place at the order of former chief minister who was also the home minister,” it was submitted. “But the CBI gave no explanation as to why it did not interrogate him.”
“No explanation is forthcoming abut the conspiracy between the local people’s representative and some senior police officers to engineer the carnage,” it was submitted. “The probe is silent about the absence of a written police management plan and the extensive use of automatic weapons.” “A more elaborate explanation did not emerge at a meeting between state government officers and CBI functionaries,” it was further submitted. The venue of the meeting was kept secret, it was learnt.
The state government sought a clarification from the CBI in December last year. The CBI has sent it to the government in April and submitted a compliance report about Nandigram carnage to this court yesterday.
The CBI counsel had stated that the investigating agency is unable to proceed against the officers as it did not have the nod of the state government. When a public servant commits an offence during the discharge of duty, the governmental assent is necessary if any one seeks to prosecute that officer.
Several police officers were alleged to be involved when police fired at a crowd of farmers killing at least 14 and injuring 70 of them at Nandigram. These people, along with others, were unwilling to part with their plots which the then Left Front government wanted to acquire to make a 10,000 acre chemical hub.
The fallout of the incident was one of the key factors to propel the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamul Congress to power.