The Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested seven persons for allegedly murdering a man during post-poll violence in West Bengal in May 2021, PTI reported on Monday.
Sridhar Das was allegedly murdered on May 4, 2021 in Cooch Behar district. According to the CBI, the man was beaten with sticks and iron rods. The agency further alleged that when his wife tried to rescue him, the accused persons attacked her as well, India Today reported.
The murder had allegedly taken place when West Bengal was witnessing a spell of violence following the Assembly election results on May 2 last year. 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.
The CBI has arrested Pranab Barkait, Pritam Roy Sarkar, Ratan Roy Sarkar, Liton Shil, Liton Bhaumik, Nakul Roy Sarkar and Biswajit Barman from the districts of Cooch Behar, Jaipur and Kolkata for Das’s murder, PTI quoted unidentified officials from the investigative agency as saying.
“After the incident, Sridhar Das was admitted in Dinhata Hospital, and later, in other hospitals/nursing homes in Cooch Behar and died during treatment on June 21, 2021,” the CBI said.
The agency said that it carried out searches at eight locations in Cooch Behar, during which it recovered incriminating documents and articles.
The CBI is probing allegations of murder, rape and crimes against women in connection with the post-poll violence as per an order by the Calcutta High Court. A Special Investigation Team of the West Bengal Police is conducting an inquiry into the cases that do not fall under these three categories.
In September, the West Bengal government moved to 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.