Darivit school ‘firing’: Court orders NIA probe

Darivit school 'firing': Court orders NIA probe

Calcutta High Court [Photo: IANS]

The Calcutta High Court today ordered a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the killings of two students, allegedly in police firing, and in connection with the alleged explosion at a school in Islampur in North Dinajpur district on 20 September 2018.

In the same vein, the Court also ordered the state government to compensate the families of the deceased.

Tapas Barman, 20 and Rajesh Sarkar, 21, were killed when police allegedly opened fire at a crowd of guardians and students who were protesting the appointment of an Urdu language teacher at the Darivit High School, and demanding appointment of teachers for other “important” subjects.


A Single Bench of Justice Raja Sekhar Mantha today observed that there had been complaints of use of bombs, explosives and firearms in the incidents of clashes where these two former students were killed. He also said that since the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the state police was unable to make sufficient progress in its investigation, the charge of probe is being handed over to the NIA.

Justice Mantha observed that although the post-mortem reports suggest that the bullets which killed Sarkar and Burman were fired from highly improvised firearms, the CID sleuths were unable to identify the nature of the firearms used on the day.

He also expressed ire over the role of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC), which was assigned the task of parallel probe in the matter. He observed that the WBHRC’s findings were based just on the inputs given by the district magistrate and the district police superintendent, “which proves how reluctant the commission was in the matter.” He also directed the state government to immediately arrange for compensation for the victims in the clashes.

As the complaints also mentioned explosion, the Court ordered the NIA inquiry into the incident.

The police have, however, denied having opened fire at the crowd. The bereaved families had moved the Calcutta High Court and demanded a CBI inquiry into the deaths.

The families of the deceased have buried the bodies on the banks of the Dolancha river instead of cremating them, in hopes for further post-mortem and investigations.

The allegation back then against the school authorities was that the school was recruiting teachers where it was not necessary, but subjects like Bengali and Science were getting the short shrift as no recruitments had ever been taken place for those subjects.