- Banerjee said that she will visit violence-hit Birbhum district on Thursday
- She also promised that action will be taken against perpetrators of violence in Birbhum
- The Bengal govt has constituted a Special Investigation Team to probe the incident
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday promised that action will be taken against perpetrators of violence in Birbhum, irrespective of their political colours. Speaking at a programme in Kolkata, Banerjee said that she will visit violence-hit Birbhum district on Thursday to take stock of the situation.
Lashing out at the BJP, she said, "Not justifying Birbhum killings, but such incidents are more frequent in UP, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan."
Eight people, including two children, were charred to death as nearly a dozen houses were set ablaze in Bogtui village early on Tuesday in a suspected fallout of the murder of TMC leader Bhadu Sheikh. Bhadu was Barshal village panchayat's deputy chief. According to police, 11 people were arrested the same day for their involvement in the incident. Nine others were arrested on Wednesday. Police said that those who have been nabbed in the case are being questioned.
The state government has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Additional Director General (CID) Gyanwant Singh to probe the incident. The Sub-divisional Police Officer concerned an officer in-charge of Rampurhat police station have been removed from active policing duty.
Meanwhile, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has fired fresh salvos at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over the Birbhum killings as he shot off yet another letter to her. He claimed that the state government's actions in the matter smack of political overtones and an attempt to shield the guilty. Dhankhar, in his three-page reply to Banerjee on Wednesday, said the CM has adopted an accusatory stance at his restrained reaction to the incident.
Dhankhar had on Tuesday described the death of eight people at Rampurhat as horrific and claimed that the state was in the grip of a culture of violence and lawlessness.
Calling for introspection, the governor also said "nothing can be more farcical" than the claim that the state had always been peaceful, barring a few incidents.
"Introspection would reveal that actions at your (Banerjee's) end and not mind are dictated by political overtones. Special Investigation Team (SIT) is being taken as a cover-up operation to provide an escape route to rogue elements. Politically caged investigation in the state inspires no confidence," he added.