West Bengal police books CBI officials under murder charges after accused found ‘hanging inside jail’

One of the several house set on fire by unidentified men in Birbhum district of West Bengal on March 21, 2022. [Photo: Twitter/ Mission Ambedkar]

Kolkata: A day after police claimed that the key accused in the Bagtui arson case was allegedly found hanging at a temporary office of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in West Bengal’s Birbhum, the family of the deceased have refuted claims and accused the police of killing their kin during torture.

Earlier, officials had claimed that the deceased Lalan Sheikh, who was arrested by the CBI from Jharkhand on December 4, was found hanging in a washroom at the agency’s makeshift camp office in Rampurhat sub-division of the district.

However, Sheikh’s family has refuted the police’s claims. Alleging custodial torture, the family demands a strict punishment for the officials responsible for his death.

Soon after hearing about the death, the deceased’s family and relatives went to the Rampurhat Medical College on Monday evening, Indian Express reported.

The report quoting CBI officials said that Lalan died at 4:50pm and the matter was reported to the district police. Videography was also done at the CBI’s makeshift camp.

Lalan’s wife alleged that he was murdered. “He was beaten so mercilessly by the CBI personnel that he could not stand properly. He was not even allowed to drink water. We want punishment for the CBI men behind his murder,” Lalan’s aunt Samsunahar Bibi was quoted as saying.

In this regard, three officers of the investigative agency have been booked by the West Bengal police, The Indian Express reported, citing sources.

The officers were booked based on the complaint by the victim’s wife. The case will be probed by the West Bengal Crime Investigation Department (CID).

Birbhum SP Nagendra Nath Tripathi told the newspaper that a case was registered against the three CBI officials.

On March 21, eight people, including two children, were charred to death in Bagtui village of Birbhum district after the murder of Trinamool Panchayat Deputy Chief Bhadu Sheikh.

Around ten houses in the village on the outskirts of Rampurhat town were set on fire by unidentified men who threw bombs as families were in deep slumber.

Initially, police filed two FIRs, one over deputy pradhan Bhadu Sheikh’s killing and the other over the attack on the houses. Eleven people have been arrested in the second case.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee condemned the Sheikh’s death and said that a case has been registered based on the complaint which was filed by his wife.


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