Court directs Netai probe to be handed over to CBI

The advocate-general sought time of another week, which the court refused and decided to hand over the case tothe CBI.

Nine villagers, including three women, were killed inindiscriminate firing from a house allegedly belonging to alocal CPI-M leader Rathin Dandapat at Netai near Lalgarh inWest Midnapore district in the morning of January 7.

It has been alleged that armed CPI-M cadres had setup a camp in the two-storeyed house and had been threateningand browbeating the villagers into participating in armedtraining.

Six CPI-M workers and leaders, including Lalgarh localcommittee secretary were named in the FIR and the CID hadannounced a reward for information about them, who wereabsconding.

Two persons - Aswini Chalak and Abani Singh werearrested just a day before the last day''s hearing into thecase before the high court earlier this week.

The Calcutta High Court Bar Association, which hadmoved a PIL praying for a CBI investigation into the case, hadclaimed that as the allegations were against the rulingCPI-M, an impartial inquiry could not be made by a stateinvestigation agency.

During the hearing on January 19, the bench whileallowing the CID to continue the probe had stated that if itfound the CID wanting in course of investigation, it wouldkeep its option open in handing over the case to the CBI. PTIAMR MD

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