The CBI will carry out a zone-wise investigation of post-poll violence cases in West Bengal, with each zone being looking into by a joint director-rank officer to ensure an exhaustive probe into alleged heinous crimes, officials said on Tuesday.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has deputed four teams in the state, which has been divided into four zones to carry out investigations into the alleged rape and murder cases reported in the aftermath of the assembly election results announced on May 2, they said.
The central agency has dispatched an unprecedented force headed by four joint directors, and comprising as many DIGs and 16 superintendents of police and investigators drawn from across the country who will be stationed in the four zones, the officials said.
The teams have already started the groundwork in their areas as the CBI has sought from the DGP of West Bengal the details of all alleged rape and murder cases reported after the elections, they said.
Following a report from an NHRC committee on July 13, a five-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court had ordered a CBI probe into the allegations.
Passing a unanimous judgment on a batch of PILs seeking an independent probe into the incidents of alleged violence after the polls which the ruling TMC won by an overwhelming majority, the bench also ordered the constitution of an SIT of state police officers to probe all other cases.
The SIT will include Suman Bala Sahoo, Soumen Mitra, and Ranveer Kumar, all IPS officers of the West Bengal cadre. The bench will monitor the investigations by both the CBI and the SIT and asked the two agencies to submit status reports to the court within six weeks
It said there are allegations of complainants being threatened to withdraw cases and a number of cases of murder being claimed as natural deaths without recording FIRs and conducting investigations.
Noting that the West Bengal Police did not properly respond to allegations of inaction and tried to downplay them, the bench said, "It certainly needs investigation by an independent agency."
It said three months have lapsed since the matter was taken up by the court, but "no concrete action has been taken by the state which could inspire confidence, except filing affidavits and placing on record thousands of papers".