Kolkata

Old rivalry between two groups led to Bogtui violence, CBI chargesheet says

Bogtui village in West Bengal’s Birbhum District witnessed a horrific violence on March 21, when 10 people, mostly women and children were burnt to death.

Bogtui village in West Bengal’s Birbhum District witnessed a horrific violence on March 21, when 10 people, mostly women and children were burnt to death. | Photo Credit: Debasish Bhaduri

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on June 20 filed a chargesheet against 16 accused persons in connection with the violence at Bogtui village in West Bengal’s Birbhum district, where 10 persons died of burn injuries after several houses were set on fire in the village on March 21. 

The Central investigation agency also submitted a report against two children in Conflict of Law (CCL) in the Court of Principal Magistrate, Juvenile Justice Board, Suri, Birbhum.

The details of the investigation shared by the agency point out that the violence in the village was a retaliatory act in response to the killing of Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Bhadu Sheikh.

A press statement shared by the agency said: “On 21.03.2022 at about 20.30 hours, Bhadu Sk was murdered at Bogtui Morh on NH-60 by hurling country-made bombs on him and using illegal firearms. Thereafter, the associates & followers of slain Bhadu Sk having been instigated by one of the accused and in furtherance of the conspiracy, attacked the houses of their rival groups situated at village Bogtui, with deadly weapons, with intention to kill their rivals/opponents present in the said houses, poured kerosene oil/petrol etc. on the houses, resulting in the said crime.”

It had been found that there was a “long standing rivalry in the village between two groups”, one led by the late Bhadu Sk, while the other group was led by a member of one the victims’ families and others, the agency said.

The Calcutta High Court had directed the CBI to probe the violence on March 25. According to the CBI, the recovered dead bodies had been charred completely and beyond recognition, and the agency had to take the help of DNA profiling. “The biological samples of these victims as preserved during post-mortem examination along with the blood samples of the probable direct relatives of the victims were sent for DNA profiling. With the help of DNA profiling, the identity of all the seven victims was established,” the CBI said, adding that, later, more victims succumbed to their burn injuries, taking the toll to 10.

According to the CBI, during the initial stage of investigation, the village was almost deserted and no witnesses were forthcoming due to fear. Many witnesses had taken shelter in other villages. “After sustained efforts, several witnesses came forward and their statement was recorded,” the CBI said. The State Police had arrested 21 suspects in the crime. The CBI has arrested six accused during the investigation, including four from Mumbai.

Chargesheet filed

The agency also filed a chargesheet in the murder of Bhadu Sheikh against four accused. The Calcutta High Court had directed the CBI to probe the murder also. According to the agency, the murder was also a result of long-standing rivalry. “It was found during investigation that there was long standing rivalry between two groups in the area. One group was led by the deceased Shri Bhadu Sk and another was led by the FIR named accused. Bhadu Sk was killed in furtherance of the said rivalry,” a statement by the agency said.

Bhadu Sheikh, a deputy pradhan of the Barsal gram panchayat in Birbhum was killed on March 21 and the violence in which 10 persons died was in retaliation for the killing. The murder and subsequent violence had sent shock waves across not only in the State but the country.


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Printable version | Aug 17, 2022 6:30:05 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/old-rivalry-between-two-groups-led-to-bogtui-violence-cbi-chargesheet-says/article65546289.ece