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CID takes over probe into Howrah clashes

To fix responsibility and identify the causes that led to the clash taking place

Statesman News Service |


Seemingly irked over perceived police laxity in the Shibpore, Howrah, incident, which witnessed violent clashes between two groups on the occasion of Ram Navami, the state government today handed over the probe to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to fix responsibility and identify the causes that led up to the clash between two communities, which resulted in vandalism and arson. Sources said that the decision of handing over the charge of investigation in the matter to the CID was taken by chief minister Mamata Banerjee herself after discussion with state Governor C V Ananda Bose.

The CID investigation, would be headed by IG CID (1) Vishal Garg and DIG CID (operations) Sukhendu Hira, who have been asked to go into the root cause to unearth any conspiracy behind the incident. The team will also look into the alleged lacunae of the police that may have contributed to the clash taking place, and also to examine whether any departure from the prescribed route allotted for the organizers of the Ramnavami march had taken place.

The CID team, according to a source, would also examine as to how some persons could manage to sneak into the Ram Navami procession with a firearm, as claimed by the chief minister and the Trinamul Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee. The role played by the district police and their preparedness to guard against any untoward incident will also come under scrutiny.

A team comprising senior officers from Bhawani Bhawan today visited the disturbed locations along the G.T Road from Howrah Maidan to Kazipara at Shibpore, this afternoon and took stock of the situation.

The team also went to the Shipore police station to collect the case details and took photographs of the marks of alleged arson and vandalism on shops and vehicles, which bore the brunt during the clash.

Meanwhile, tension continued to be palpable at Shibpore though heavy police deployment was in place and the commissioner of the Howrah City police Praveen Kumar Tripathy with Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel in tow patrolled along the GT Road to restore confidence among the locals .

Police were also seen dispersing any assembly of people as prohibitory orders under sec 144 crPC were in force , which were clamped only yesterday to rein in the volatile situation. People were seen today coming out in numbers and going about with their businesses as usual.

Local shops, which downed their shutters yesterday were seen today doing brisk business. Vehicular traffic, which was suspended due to clash was back to normal today amidst huge police presence.

A total of 38 people have been arrested so far in connection with Thursday’s incident