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Calcutta HC seeks personal appearance of Bengal police chief

Posted on Aug 19 2014 | IANS

Kolkata, Aug 19 : Expressing its displeasure over the investigation into the murder of a panchayat member in which a leader of West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress has been named, the Calcutta High Court Tuesday directed the state police chief to appear before it Sep 4.

The order by Justice Harish Tandon came on a petition seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the murder of Sagar Ghosh, an independent panchayat member in Birbhum district, July last year.

Ghosh was killed days after district Trinamool president Anubrata Mondal gave an inflammatory speech, inciting party workers to resort to violence against independent candidates and hurl bombs at police if they came in the way.

"Justice Harish Tandon expressed his anguish over the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that was formed at the direction of the court submitting the charge sheet without any information to the high court," said Subrata Mukherjee, counsel for the petitioner.

"The court has directed the DGP (director general of police) to appear before it Sep 4 and explain why such a step was taken," he added.

The SIT headed by the DGP in July submitted the charge sheet before a court in Suri, which is hearing the murder case.

Justice Dipankar Datta, who was hearing the case before he recused himself citing personal reasons, too had ordered the appearance of the state police chief in April but the Mamata Banerjee-led state government then obtained a stay after filing an appeal to a division bench.

The court earlier rapped the Banerjee administration for its failure to arrest Mandal after watching a video in which the Trinamool strongman is seen exhorting his party workers to attack rivals and hurl bombs at police.

Rival political parties - the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Communist Party of India-Marxist - have all welcomed the court's order but expressed apprehension that the Banerjee government may once again thwart the move by approaching a higher court.

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