The West Bengal government has written to the Centre asking why the former Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, should not be questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the March 14, 2007 police firing at Nandigram.
“Why shouldn’t he be interrogated as he was Home Minister then,” a senior Trinamool Congress Minister asked, pointing out that prior to the firing, huge gatherings had been organised in the area regularly and the police were aware of that. “Did not the Home Minister know that there was a huge gathering there before sending the police?” he asked, talking to journalists here on Friday. The police had not opened fire in self-defence on the day of the violence, he added.
Eight people were killed in the police firing, while six others died in the violence that followed.
Protesting the attempt to involve Mr. Bhattacharjee in the CBI inquiry, senior CPI(M) MP Basudeb Acharya said: “The Trinamool government is trying to politicise the Nandigram violence. All steps taken by it over the past one-and-half years since it came to power are aimed only at serving its political purposes.” The State government writing such a letter was an attempt at interfering in the functioning of the CBI, he said.
Notice to IPS officers
In a related development, the State government has issued notice to five IPS officers, asking why action should not be taken against them for their alleged involvement in the firing. The CBI had written to the State government to initiate action against the police officers.