KOLKATA: In a major embarrassment to the Trinamool Congress (TMC) Government in West Bengal the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday asked the state government to explain its stand regarding the demand for a CBI inquiry into the multiple murder case, in which a TMC MLA is the prime accused.
After watching the video footage of the speech of Monirul Islam, TMC legislator from Labhpur in Birbhum district, in which he proudly claimed to have “trampled and killed three people with his feet”, Justice Dipankar Datta wanted to question the investigating officer (IO) in the case.
Monirul is accused of murdering three CPM workers after holding a kangaroo court on June 3, 2010 and later on July 23, 2013, delivered his provocative speech at Saithia in his home district. The victims’ mother Zarina Bibi and brother Sanwar Sheikh on June 30 filed a petition in the High Court, demanding a CBI inquiry. When Justice Datta wanted to question the IO, the government counsel Samrat Sen, in order to avoid public embarrassment wanted it to be done privately. The Judge refused to do it in his private chamber. Following the government counsel’s request, the media was asked to leave the courtroom and an in-camera hearing was held.
After the questioning was completed, the judge asked the state government to file an affidavit explaining its stand about the demand for the CBI probe by August one and would deliver his final ruling on August 7.
Bibi had complained that she could not return home as her family was being threatened by TMC local leaders and even by the police to withdraw her charges against Monirul, who was seen with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at an official function on July 10.
The state Chief Secretary Sanjoy Mitra, Home Secretary Basudeb Banerjee and state DGP G M P Reddy were seen standing behind Monirul, who was seated on the stage while Mamata delivered her speech.
Justice Datta directed district police chief Alok Rajoria to ensure the safety and security of Bibi and her family members and make sure that they could return home. Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly and CPM PolitBuro member Suryakanta Mishra on Tuesday visited the victims’ family at Labhpur village and demanded a CBI inquiry too.
Monirul, who had allegedly murdered the three in 2010, was then a leader of the Forward Bloc, was arrested, but was bailed out.