The Calcutta High Court on Friday named Justice (Retd) Manjula Chellur the head of the Special Investigation Team tasked with looking into post-poll violence in West Bengal, Live Law reported.
The High Court, in its order on August 19, had directed the SIT to investigate cases other than those related to murder, rape and crimes against women. The SIT comprises the West Bengal Police’s Director General (Communications) Suman Bala Sahoo, Kolkata Police Commissioner Soumen Mitra and Additional Director General (Administration-1) Ranvir Kumar.
The High Court had then stated that a retired judge of the Supreme Court will oversee the working of the SIT. While Justice Chellur was not a judge of the Supreme Court, she was the chief justice of the Calcutta High Court from August 6, 2014 to August 21, 2016.
The High Court on Friday said that no judge of the Supreme Court was immediately available to take up the matter, and modified its order dated August 19.
The court has directed the West Bengal government to pay Rs 10 lakh for the assignment.
“It shall be the duty of the chief secretary of the state of West Bengal to ensure that all arrangements for her travel and stay are made and protocol facilities are extended to her,” the order stated, according to Live Law.
West Bengal witnessed a spell of incidents of violence following the Assembly election results on May 2. Various news reports put the toll between 11 and 14, but the police did not confirm the numbers. The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Trinamool Congress blamed each other for the deaths of multiple party workers.
CBI makes third arrest
The Central Bureau of Investigation is probing allegations of murder, rape and crimes against women in connection with the post-poll violence. Till Friday, the CBI has arrested three persons in connection with the allegations.
On August 28, it had arrested Bijoy Ghosh and Asima Ghosh from Nadia district for their alleged involvement in the murder of a BJP worker in the run-up to the Assembly election results.
The CBI on Friday arrested Ratan Halder from Jagaddal area in North 24 Parganas district, PTI reported. He has been accused of involvement in the murder of a BJP worker’s mother, the agency quoted sources as saying.
On Thursday, the central agency filed a chargesheet in a case of post-poll violence in Birbhum district. This was the first chargesheet that it filed in connection with the violence.
The chargesheet named two people allegedly involved in the murder of a BJP worker, according to PTI.
On Wednesday, the West Bengal government moved the Supreme Court challenging the Calcutta High Court’s order directing a CBI inquiry.
In its plea, the state government has submitted that it did not expect the CBI to conduct a fair investigation. The Mamata Banerjee-led government accused the agency of working at the Centre’s behest to file cases against members of the ruling Trinamool Congress.