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Sitalkuchi firing: Calcutta HC seeks status report from CID

The HC was hearing pleas related to the firing by CISF on a polling day in Cooch Behar district on April 10 killing four people

Sabrangindia 17 Apr 2021

Image Courtesy:thetimesofbengal.com

The Calcutta High Court Bench of Chief Justice Thottathil Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee has directed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to submit a report by May 5 on the progress of investigation into the firing by Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel at Sitalkuchi during the West Bengal assembly polls that claimed the lives of four people. 

It is noteworthy that on April 10, while polling was on for the fourth phase of assembly elections, four people were killed when paramilitary forces opened fire at polling booth number 126 in Amtali. They have been identified as: Noor Alam Mian (20), Manirujjaman Mian (25), Samiul Haque (21) and Hamidul Mian (31). In a separate incident on the same day, another young man identified as 18-year-old Ananda Barman, was killed by unknown gunmen at booth number 85 in Panthauli, also in Sitalkuchi.

The order read, “We expect a statement to be placed on record by the CID as to the progress of the investigation by the next date of hearing. The office of learned Advocate General will instruct the investigator concerned in this regard since we do not see any CID or any particular officer of CID in the array of respondents.”

The Bench noted that investigation into the incident is already being carried out by the CID. The court said, “Now investigation is being carried on by the CID of the State of West Bengal. We record these submissions.”

The court was hearing two writ petitions filed before it, seeking investigation into the firing by the central forces during polling in the Sitalkuchi Assembly segment of Cooch Behar district on April 10. The court recorded that the allegation behind the death of people was the “police firing in the course of electioneering”.

The High Court was informed by the Advocate General for the State and Additional Solicitor General for the CISF as well as counsel for the Election Commission of India that two FIRs have been lodged – one at the instance of an officer of the CISF and another at the instance of an individual. The petitioners have also reportedly asked for a direction to provide monetary compensation to the kin of the people killed in the shooting.

Reacting to this incident, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her anger and told media persons, “This was genocide. The central force just sprayed them with bullets. They fired at the upper part of the body,” adding, “They should have fired below the waist, but the bullets were fired at the neck and the chest.”

She raised the question of whether CISF personnel are trained to control mobs by firing bullets without any warning. Besides an independent probe into this incident, she has also demanded the resignation of Union Home Minister Amit Shah. 

The matter will be heard on May 5.

The order may be read here: 

Related:

Battleground Bengal: Five killed in Sitalkuchi, EC and Central forces under scanner again
Sitalkuchi killings: This blood won’t wash easy…

Sitalkuchi firing: Calcutta HC seeks status report from CID

The HC was hearing pleas related to the firing by CISF on a polling day in Cooch Behar district on April 10 killing four people

Image Courtesy:thetimesofbengal.com

The Calcutta High Court Bench of Chief Justice Thottathil Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee has directed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to submit a report by May 5 on the progress of investigation into the firing by Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel at Sitalkuchi during the West Bengal assembly polls that claimed the lives of four people. 

It is noteworthy that on April 10, while polling was on for the fourth phase of assembly elections, four people were killed when paramilitary forces opened fire at polling booth number 126 in Amtali. They have been identified as: Noor Alam Mian (20), Manirujjaman Mian (25), Samiul Haque (21) and Hamidul Mian (31). In a separate incident on the same day, another young man identified as 18-year-old Ananda Barman, was killed by unknown gunmen at booth number 85 in Panthauli, also in Sitalkuchi.

The order read, “We expect a statement to be placed on record by the CID as to the progress of the investigation by the next date of hearing. The office of learned Advocate General will instruct the investigator concerned in this regard since we do not see any CID or any particular officer of CID in the array of respondents.”

The Bench noted that investigation into the incident is already being carried out by the CID. The court said, “Now investigation is being carried on by the CID of the State of West Bengal. We record these submissions.”

The court was hearing two writ petitions filed before it, seeking investigation into the firing by the central forces during polling in the Sitalkuchi Assembly segment of Cooch Behar district on April 10. The court recorded that the allegation behind the death of people was the “police firing in the course of electioneering”.

The High Court was informed by the Advocate General for the State and Additional Solicitor General for the CISF as well as counsel for the Election Commission of India that two FIRs have been lodged – one at the instance of an officer of the CISF and another at the instance of an individual. The petitioners have also reportedly asked for a direction to provide monetary compensation to the kin of the people killed in the shooting.

Reacting to this incident, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her anger and told media persons, “This was genocide. The central force just sprayed them with bullets. They fired at the upper part of the body,” adding, “They should have fired below the waist, but the bullets were fired at the neck and the chest.”

She raised the question of whether CISF personnel are trained to control mobs by firing bullets without any warning. Besides an independent probe into this incident, she has also demanded the resignation of Union Home Minister Amit Shah. 

The matter will be heard on May 5.

The order may be read here: 

Related:

Battleground Bengal: Five killed in Sitalkuchi, EC and Central forces under scanner again
Sitalkuchi killings: This blood won’t wash easy…

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