Birbhum killings: CBI records eyewitness statements, interviews TMC chief and 3 other suspects

The CBI on Sunday recorded eyewitness statements in relation to the Bogtui killings in Birbhum district in which eight people were charred to death after their homes were burned down in alleged retaliation for the murder of a Pradhan MP with allegiance to the ruling Trinamool Congress.

The central agency, which set up a temporary camp office at a government guest house in the nearby town of Rampurhat, also interviewed four of the arrested suspects, including TMC block chairman Anarul Hussain.

A three-member team led by CBI Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Akhilesh Singh, traveled to Rampurhat Medical College and Hospital to take statements from three of the four people injured – a minor and three women.

“Currently, four people are admitted to the hospital. One of them with more than 65% burns could not record a statement. CBI officials have spoken to three of them and taken their statements about the incident,” a senior hospital official said.

In addition, four of the arrested defendants, including Anarul Hussain (61), were taken from Rampurhat police station to the CBI camp office for questioning. A total of 22 people, including Anarul Hussain, were arrested in connection with two FIRs.

Hussain, who pleaded innocent in court which denied his bail request, told the media he was framed as part of a conspiracy.

The CBI also searched for CCTV footage from the night the incident happened in this area. The images will probably be handed over by the police. Eyewitnesses will be asked to identify those who appear in the images, we learn.

Central forces have been deployed to ensure the security of CBI officials investigate Bogtui incident.

A divisional bench of the Calcutta High Court handed over the investigation to the CBI on Friday and ordered the central agency to file a progress report by April 7.

On the instruction of the court, the agency registered a case based on the initial complaint received by the police and launched the investigation.

Unidentified people had burned down at least 10 houses in the village on March 21.

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