Eight charred to death in WB, Calcutta High Court steps in

Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court today registered a suo motu case in the incident of violence at Rampurhat in West Bengal’s Birbhum district where eight people were burnt to death following the killing of Trinamool Congress leader Bhadu Sheikh.

The court observed that the crime was serious in nature and unfortunate while admitting the case. The Bengal BJP had approached the Calcutta High Court over the incident in Birbhum on Tuesday.

The eight deaths, the highest toll in a single incident reported in Bengal since the nine deaths in West Midnapore’s Netai on 7 January, 2011, sparked a political blame game.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee responded strongly to Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar’s statement that the ‘arson orgy’ indicated that Bengal was in the ‘grip of a culture of violence and lawlessness’.

Meanwhile, the Union government is sending a separate probe team headed by a Joint-Secretary level officer. Officials said the Centre had also asked for a report from the State government on the incident.

At least 20 people have been arrested so far in connection with the violence, a senior police officer said on Wednesday. Eleven people were arrested the same day for their involvement in the incident.