Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested one more accused during an ongoing investigation of a case, related to the death of 10 people as their houses were set on fire at Bogtui village in Birbhum, earlier this year.
It has been alleged that the arrested accused had bought petrol on March 21, 2022, which was used for the burning of houses in village Bogtui. The arrested accused was produced on Thursday, before the ACJM Court, Rampurhat and was remanded five days police custody.
Earlier in August, CBI had arrested 7 more accused, who were allegedly involved in the case.
CBI had registered a case on March 25 against 22 accused and others in compliance of the orders of the High Court, Calcutta in connection with WPA 130, 124,125,126, 129 and 133 of 2022 and taken over the investigation of FIR No 169/2022 on March 22, earlier registered at Police Station Rampurhat, District Birbhum (West Bengal) on a complaint against 22 accused and others.
CBI filed chargesheet on June 20 against 16 accused before the Competent Court and also submitted a report against two Children in Conflict of Law (CCL) in the Court of Principal Magistrate, Juvenile Justice Board, Suri, Birbhum. Further investigation was continuing regarding the involvement of other accused and to unearth the larger conspiracy in the matter.
The Birbhum massacre took place on 21 March 2022. It was alleged that Bhadu Sheikh of village-Bogtui, Upa Pradhan(Dy.Pradhan) of Barshal GP was murdered by inflicting bomb blast injuries, at Bogtui Morh on NH-60. After the incident, serious tension cropped up at Bogtui Morh on NH-60 and surrounding areas over the issue of said murder.
It was further alleged that the followers and associates of slain Bhadu Sheikh, ransacked the houses of rival groups at village Bogtui and set them on fire with a view to kill the persons inside and their family inmates. As a result of which, seven persons were charred to death and four other persons also sustained severe burn injuries. Identities of the deceased persons could not be established. Later on, out of four injured victims; one lady succumbed to her injuries at Rampurhat Medical College and Hospital.
The State Police arrested 21 suspected persons.
After taking over the investigation as per the Orders of the Calcutta High Court, a large team of CBI including experts from CFSL immediately reached Rampurhat. Vital physical and biological evidence were collected by the CFSL team. The Dead bodies recovered were completely charred and beyond recognition.
The biological samples of these victims as preserved during post-mortem examination along with the blood samples of the probable direct relatives of the victims were sent for DNA profiling. With the help of DNA profiling, the identity of all the seven victims was established. Later, two more victims succumbed to their burn injuries taking the death toll to ten.
During the investigation, CBI collected sufficient evidence using scientific methods. In the initial stage of the investigation, village was almost deserted and no witnesses were forthcoming due to fear.
Many witnesses had taken shelter in other villages. After sustained efforts, several witnesses came forward and the statement was recorded. It was found that there was a long-standing rivalry in the village between two groups. One group was led by late Bhadu SK, while other group was led by a member of one of the victims’ families and others.
CBI earlier arrested six people during the investigation. Four of them were arrested in Mumbai.
Further investigation is continuing regarding the involvement of other accused and to unearth the larger conspiracy involved.
A charge sheet was filed in the case related to the death of 10 persons at Bogtui Village, Bhirbhum District (West Bengal) Under Section 120-B r/w 147, 148, 149, 302, 307, 435, 436, 460, 201, and 109 of IPC.