Number of those arrested for Birbhum killings rises to 22, Left hold rally near at Rampurhat
West Bengal government has constituted a SIT, headed by Additional Director General Gyanwant Singh, to probe the incident. Union home ministry has also sought a detailed report on the incident.
KOLKATA/RAMPURHAT: At least 22 people have been arrested so far in connection with violence in West Bengal's Birbhum district that claimed eight lives, a senior police officer said on Wednesday.
Family members of Bhadu Sheikh, the TMC Panchayat leader whose killing on Monday is suspected to have sparked off the attack with petrol bombs on some 10 houses in Bogtui village on the outskirts of Rampurhat town, claimed that Sheikh's sons were among those arrested.
However the police as yet have not released any names of suspects who have been arrested.
All eight of them, including two children, were charred to death as nearly a dozen houses were set ablaze with petrol bombs in Bogtui village in the early hours of Tuesday.
Eleven people were arrested the same day for their involvement in the incident. "We are grilling them (those arrested) to find out if there were more people involved in the incident. Some accused seem to have fled the village. We are trying to trace them," the officer said.
He added that forensic experts were examining the ravaged houses to get an idea about the "nature of the mishap".
The West Bengal government has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by Additional Director General (CID) Gyanwant Singh, to probe the incident.
The Union home ministry has sought a detailed report on the incident from the state government.
Meanwhile, the Left Front (LF) on Wednesday took out a rally in Rampurhat town of West Bengal's Birbhum district, demanding justice for those killed in violence in the area the day before.
LF chairman Biman Bose, who led the rally along with CPI(M) state secretary Mohd Salim, said any attempt to hush up the "mass murder" would be resisted. Bose slammed the police for "not doing anything" to rescue the villagers.
Speaking to reporters after visiting the site of the incident, Salim alleged that illegal sand mining mafia played a role in the attacks. He demanded stern punishment for the perpetrators. "We want strictest punishment for those involved in the barbaric attack," he said.