The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday arrested four persons in connection with the violence in West Bengal’s Birbhum district that left nine people dead, The Indian Express reported. The arrests were made in Mumbai.

Earlier, the West Bengal Police’s Special Investigation Team had arrested 21 people in the case.

Two of arrested persons were identified as Bappa Sheikh and Sabu Sheikh, the newspaper quoted unidentified officials as saying. They were allegedly present at the site of the violence on March 22 in Birbhum district’s Bogtui village.

The Central Bureau of Investigation will produce the accused persons before a court in Mumbai and seek transit remand in order to take them to West Bengal, PTI quoted an unidentified official as saying.

Eight people had died on March 22 after their houses were set on fire following the alleged murder of a panchayat leader of the ruling Trinamool Congress. Another person succumbed to injuries later.

The panchayat leader, Bhadu Sheikh, died after miscreants allegedly hurled bombs at him on March 21.

On March 25, the Calcutta High Court transferred the case from West Bengal Police’s Special Investigation Team to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Earlier on Thursday, the Calcutta High Court took on record a preliminary report that was submitted by the central agency.

The counsel representing the Central Bureau of Investigation told a bench comprising of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj that officers were using the latest technology to investigate the violence.

Political controversy

The killings in Birbhum had sparked a political controversy in West Bengal, with the Bharatiya Janata Party members and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar accusing Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee government of allowing the state’s law and order situation to collapse.

Banerjee alleged that there was a larger conspiracy behind the violence.

The police filed two first information reports, one in connection with Sheikh’s death and the second related to attack on the houses. The accused persons have been booked under Indian Penal Code sections that provide punishment for murder, attempt to murder and arson.