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Bagtui massacre: CBI submits progress report to Calcutta HC

Following successive orders of the Calcutta High Court, the CBI is currently conducting two parallel investigations

ANI | Kolkata |

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), on Monday, submitted a progress report on the agency’s ongoing parallel probe into the carnage at Bagtui village in Birbhum district of West Bengal on March 21 and the reasons behind the murder of Trinamul Congress’ deputy chief of panchayat, Bhadu Sheikh.

Altogether, 10 persons died in the Bagtui massacre. It is learnt that in the progress report submitted to the division bench of Calcutta High Court’s chief justice Prakash Srivastava, the CBI has detailed the steps taken by its sleuths in its probe.

It is learnt that in the report, the central agency has informed the court that two accused in the case have been granted bail by a lower court without informing the CBI. Chief Justice Srivastava has asked the CBI to submit a copy of the lower court’s directive that granted bail to the two accused. The next hearing is scheduled on May 10.

Advocate Phiroze Edulji, a counsel of one of the petitioners, said that the lower court granted the bail to the two accused because both were minors. Edulji also appealed to the division bench to cancel their bail. He also demanded that the case diaries in the matter be presented at Calcutta High Court.

On March 21, the Trinamool Congress deputy chief of Bursal panchayat, Bhadu Sheikh was killed in Bagtui. Soon after that at least 12 houses were set on fire.

A special investigation team (SIT) of the West Bengal Police first took over the probe. However, there was an appeal in the Calcutta High Court demanding a CBI probe in the matter.

Following successive orders of the Calcutta High Court, the CBI is currently conducting two parallel investigations – the first into the carnage that claimed nine lives, and the second into the assassination of Bhadu Sheikh.

The CBI sleuths conducting the probes suspect that rivalry over illegal sand mining, rampant in West Bengal’s Birbhum district was one of the main reasons behind the carnage.

As per the preliminary findings of the CBI, both the rival gangs were associated with the state’s ruling party, Trinamul Congress.

In January last year, Bhadu Sheikh’s relative Babar Sheikh was also murdered.

Although the case is yet to be solved, Bhadu Sheikh alleged that his rivals like Palash Sheikh and Sona Sheikh played a role in the killing.