Lalan Sheikh death: Calcutta HC rules out judicial probe

A division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday ruled out a judicial probe into the mysterious death of Lalan Sheikh, the prime accused in the Bogtui carnage case, at the CBI custody on December 12.

The hearing on a PIL demanding a judicial probe in the matter concluded on December 19 only, though the division bench of the Calcutta High Court’s Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj had reserved the judgement on that day.

On Wednesday, the division bench pronounced its verdict ruling out the judicial probe and instead asked Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of West Bengal Police to continue with its probe in the matter but without any cohesive action against the CBI officers named in the FIR by state police as directed earlier by the Calcutta High Court’s single-judge bench of Justice Jay Sengupta.

Although the initial FIR in the matter was lodged by the Birbhum district police in Lalan Sheikh’s custodial death, later the CID of state police took over the probe.

However, CBI has since the beginning described the FIR as politically motivated and pointed out that those seven Central agency officers named in the FIR also include the name of Sushanta Bhattacharya, the investigation officer in the multi-crore cattle smuggling case in West Bengal and who has no connection with the separate team probing Bogtui carnage case.

Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), too, has started its own independent investigation in the matter, as informed by CBI counsel Dhiraj Trivedi at the Calcutta High Court recently.

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