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Child rights body wants deaths probed by Birbhum SP

“The district police super and the district magistrate will file two separate reports to Nabanna about the Bagtui incident, sources said. “We have cordoned off the place of occurrence for safety,”

Debajyoti Chakraborty | Kolkata |

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has directed the superintendent of police, Birbhum, Nagendra Nath Tripathy in a letter to conduct an enquiry regarding the killing of children in Bagtui village under Rampurhat -1 block, ensure protection to other children in the village and report to them within three days.

So far, Rampurhat Police has arrested 23 persons in connection with arson and mass killing at Bagtui village and one person in connection with murder case of deputy head of gram panchayat Bhadu Sheikh. Besides removing the SDPO and IC of Rampurhat Police Station yesterday, the state government has also shunted twelve other cops, including an intelligence official. The SP and DM of Birbhum were present at the village last night, accompanying the bodies and remained till all the bodies were buried to avoid further untoward incident.

A large contingent of combat forces has been deployed and the torched houses have been cordoned off to preserve forensic evidences from getting destroyed. CPM state secretary Mohammed Salim reached the village riding a motorcycle and talked with the villagers. “He said that he has no faith in either state police or CBI probe and the investigations of the Bagtui massacre will be brushed under the carpet in the coming months,” alleged Mohammad Salim.

Veteran CPM leader Biman Bose was however not allowed to enter the village. In the afternoon, a BJP delegation, led by the leader of opposition Suvendu Adhikari reached Bagtui and met with the families of the victims. “Moulobi Sahab please ensure that the villagers and eyewitnesses do not leave the village. We are trying to provide central armed forces to guard people. Do not allow those leaders who will now come to console you now,” added Suvendu Adhikari.

He said he has written to Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla seeking NIA probe into the incident. All the men of Purbapara and Paschimpara in Bagtui village have fled fearing arrest and counter attacks. Bagtui village is about two kilometres away from Rampurhat town and there are over 5,000 houses in the village. One of the deceased, Sajidur Rahaman, was visiting his inlaws’ place, said his wife Lily Khatoon. Locals alleged that the residents had locked themselves inside while the mob torched the house of Sanju Sheikh.

The district police super and the district magistrate will file two separate reports to Nabanna about the Bagtui incident, sources said. “We have cordoned off the place of occurrence for safety,” said Nagendra Nath Tripathy. The smoke is still billowing out from the burnt houses even after two days of the incident. Many villagers fled to surrounding villages out of fear. Three people with burn injuries were admitted at Rampurhat Hospital. A child, who went missing from the hospital, was recovered about six kilometres away by police. Meanwhile, the threemember SIT, formed by the state has started a probe. All eyes are on Anarul Shiekh, the TMC block president and the absconding brother of murdered deputy head Bhadu Sheikh. Refuting the allegations, Anarul claimed that he was in hospital at the time. The SIT is probing all angles and has got some leads already, sources said. Meena Biwi (40),Nurnihar Biwi (58), Rupali Biwi (40), Bani Sheikh(40), Mihir Seikh (35), Neklala Sheikh (40) are amongst those eight people killed, including a child. The arrested persons were produced in Rampurhat Court today.