The Central Bureau of Investigation has named 21 people as accused in the Birbhum massacre case in which eight people were beaten and burnt alive earlier this week. The list of accused is the same as that of the state police.
Eight persons — most of them women and children — were killed at a village near Birbhum’s Rampurhat town earlier this week. It was allegedly retaliatory violence after the murder of a local Trinamool Congress leader.
The team has set up a temporary camp at a government guest house in Rampurhat. Led by senior officer Akhilesh Singh, the team has now split up and started work.
The CBI has to file a status report on its investigation by April 7 in the Calcutta High Court, which ordered a CBI probe in the case on Friday. The court had transferred the case denying a request by the Mamata Banerjee government to not hand over the investigation to the central agency.
Battling a furious political backlash over the killings, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had alleged that “something big” was behind the incident.
“I never believed something so barbaric can happen in modern Bengal. Mothers and children were killed. Your family members died but it is my heart that was crushed…,” Mamata Banerjee said, surrounded by the family members and relatives of those killed, besides villagers.
Alleging a bigger conspiracy, she called for “stringent action” and said the police would investigate all angles.