Bengal Cong Councillor’s murder: Govt challenges HC order

The West Bengal government on Thursday announced its decision to challenge a single judge bench order for a CBI probe into the murder of Tapan Kandu, the newly elected Congress councillor from Jhalda Municipality of West Bengal’s Purulia district.

It has approached a division bench of the Calcutta High Court chief justice Prakash Srivastava urging fast-track basis hearing in the matter. State government sources told IANS that the chief justice has assured to look into it.

On April 4, the Calcutta High Court bench of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha ordered a CBI inquiry in the matter. On March 13, Tapan Kandu was murdered while he was on an evening walk with his wife, Purnima Kandu.

The special investigation team of the state police started investigating the murder and also arrested four persons, including Tapan Kandu’s brother Naren Kandu and the latter’s son Deepak Kandu. On April 3, the Purulia district police superintendent S. Selvamurugan told mediapersons that family feud was the main reason behind the killing of Tapan Kandu.

On April 6, in a dramatic turn, an eyewitness to the murder and Tapan Kandu’s close associate Niranjan Baishnab was found hanging at his residence. A suicide note recovered said that the police pressure forced him to take such a drastic step.

Commenting on the West Bengal government’s decision to challenge the order of CBI inquiry in the matter, Tapan Kandu’s brother, Purnima Kandu told mediapersons that this development proves that there are attempts to shield the associates of the state’s ruling party who are behind the assassination of her husband.

Congress’s Purulia district president, Nepal Mahato and the CPI(M)’s central committee member Dr Sujan Chakraborty said that whenever there is an order for any central agency inquiry in a matter that goes against the state ruling party or state government, the latter tries to prevent that probe.

Trinamool Congress’s state general secretary and the party spokesman Kunal Ghosh came in defense of the state government’s decision to challenge the order on CBI inquiry. “The order on CBI inquiry came at a time when the special investigation team of the state police has almost solved the case by arresting the prime accused. So, the state government had thought that a CBI probe at this point was not warranted and hence it has exercised its legal right to challenge the order,” Ghosh said.

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