The Central Bureau of Investigation on Saturday arrested two people in connection with the post-poll violence in West Bengal, The Indian Express reported.
The Central Bureau of Investigation took up the matter following an order by the Calcutta High Court on August 19. The High Court had asked the central agency to investigate allegations of murder, rape and crimes against women in connection with the violence.
For other cases, the High Court had constituted a Special Investigation Team involving the state’s police officers.
Saturday’s arrests are the first and is related to the alleged murder of Bharatiya Janata Party worker Dharma Mandal in Nadia district on May 14, PTI reported, citing unidentified officials.
The accused – Bijoy Ghosh and Ashima Ghosh – will be presented before a court on Sunday.
Both of them were booked under Sections 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), 307 (attempt to murder), 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt), 326 (causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons) and 341 (wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code.
The Central Bureau of Investigation also registered 10 more cases pertaining to the post-poll violence. With this, at least 21 first information reports have been filed so far.
Raids were also conducted at 15 different locations in West Bengal on Saturday, according to the Hindustan Times. During a search operation in Nadia, some Trinamool Congress workers shouted slogans against the Central Bureau of Investigation and the BJP.
The post-poll violence
West Bengal witnessed a spell of incidents of violence following the Assembly election results on May 2. The BJP and the Trinamool Congress blamed each other for the deaths of multiple party workers.
On June 18, the Calcutta High Court had directed the National Human Rights Commission of India to set up a seven-member committee to investigate the matter.
The rights panel submitted its report on July 13, recommending that cases of “heinous crimes” should be transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The committee had alleged that the police were “grossly derelict, if not complicit” in the violence. However, the state government had alleged that the committee was formed to “spearhead a witch hunt” against it.
The West Bengal government also alleged that members of the committee were either associated with the BJP or had a close connection with the central government.
During a subsequent hearing, the court had criticised the state government, saying that it had failed to properly investigate the violence.
In its August 19 judgement, the High Court had said that it will monitor the inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Special Investigation Team. A five-judge bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal had pronounced three separate but concurring verdicts.
Bindal, in his lead judgement, noted there were “definite and proved allegations” that complaints filed by some victims were not registered. “Such types of incidents, even if isolated are not good for healthy democracy,” he added.