Cooch Behar firing: Bengal CID takes over inquiry into deaths of four residents



The West Bengal Crime Investigation Department on Friday took over the inquiry into the killing of four local residents in firing by the central forces in Cooch Behar district on April 10, PTI reported.

A Special Investigation Team of the CID has been constituted to conduct the probe. Investigators will visit booth number 126/5 in Jorpatki in Sitalkuchi Assembly constituency where the incident took place. The SIT will look at video footage and talk to officers and personnel of the local police station.

On April 10, four persons were killed in Sitalkuchi after the central security forces opened fire at a polling booth during the fourth phase of voting in Sitalkuchi, following a clash with locals. In a separate incident, another person was shot dead after he was dragged outside a polling booth.

Following the firing incident on April 10, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that her government will initiate a Crime Investigation Department inquiry into the deaths. She had also questioned the central security forces’ version of firing on voters in self-defence. Banerjee had visited Sitalkuchi on Wednesday and met the families of the victims.

The Trinamool Congress said that the four people who were killed on Saturday belonged to the party, and alleged a large conspiracy behind the attack. But the Election Commission has ruled out any such possibility, saying the security forces had no option but to open fire to save their lives and government property.

Following the violence, the Election Commission had adjourned voting at one of the polling booths in Sitalkuchi. The poll panel also banned politicians from entering Cooch Behar district till Tuesday. Additionally, it extended the silence period before the next phase of the West Bengal elections, which is scheduled to take place on April 17, from 48 hours to 72 hours. The decision effectively cut short the campaigning period by a day.



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