3 accused arrested in connection with TMC leader murder in Birbhum


Three accused have been arrested in connection with ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Bhadu Sheikh’s murder in West Bengal’s Birbhum. An arson attack that left nine people dead followed the murder. “Three persons have been arrested. Earlier we arrested one person. The three have been identified as Shera Sheikh, Sanju Sheikh and Raja Sheikh,” said a police officer in Birbhum.

The Calcutta high court has handed over the probe into the killing of the nine people to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The district police are investigating Bhadu Sheikh’s murder.

CCTV footage showed Sheikh speaking on his phone on March 21 when four assailants on a motorbike hurled a crude bomb and shot him before fleeing. “The three have direct links with the murder,” said a second officer.

At least eight houses were set afire after the murder. According to post mortem reports of those killed in the alleged reprisal attack, the victims were first attacked with sharp weapons before they were burnt alive. Police arrested at least 21 persons, including TMC’s block president Anarul Hossain, in connection with the massacre before the CBI took over the case. Hossain was arrested on the orders of chief minister Mamata Banerjee. The CBI is now questioning him.

The family members of those massacred, who fled to neighbouring Batashpur village, are likely to return to their homes in Bogtui on Wednesday. Police pickets have been set up in the village ahead of their return. Over 30 CCTV cameras have been installed in the village on high court orders.

CBI investigators have been looking for the absconding accused. They visited their houses and spoke to their family members.

Central Forensic Science Laboratory experts visited the scene of the massacre twice to collect samples. CBI has questioned family members of the victims and two police officers including the former in charge of the local police station. The agency is likely to question fire brigade personnel, who were rushed to douse the flames after the arson attack.

(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)