Lalan Sheikh’s death: Calcutta HC directs CID to submit progress report by Fri

The Calcutta High Court on Thursday directed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of West Bengal police to submit a progress report in the court by Friday on its probe into the mysterious death of Lalan Sheikh, the prime accused in the March 21 Bogtui carnage.

The CID is probing the death of Lalan Sheikh, who was found hanging from a shower stand in a toilet of a temporary CBI office at Rampurhat in Birbhum district on December 12.

During a hearing in the matter before Calcutta High Court’s single-judge bench of Justice Jay Sengupta, the CBI counsel alleged that the CID is not conducting its probe as per the guidelines of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The CBI counsel also asked how the FIR was filed even before Sheikh’s post-mortem report was made available.

Justice Sengupta, while asking the CBI counsel to submit his points of argument in the form of an affidavit, queried about the exact findings of the post-mortem report.

“Why the post-mortem report has not been submitted to the court? How will I continue with the hearing process unless I know the exact cause of Lalan Sheikha’s death,” Sengupta asked.

Thereafter, he directed the CID to submit a progress report by Friday, when the matter will come up for hearing next.

The initial FIR was filed by Birbhum district police and the probe was later taken over by the CID.

The CBI has already described the FIR as politically motivated in view of the fact that the seven central agency officials named in it included the name of the investigating officer probing the cattle-smuggling scam, who had no connection with the separate CBI team probing the Bogtui carnage.

The high court bench had earlier allowed the CID to continue with its probe, but without adopting any cohesive action against the CBI officers named in the FIR.

Lalan Sheikh was a known associate of local Trinamul Congress leader Bhadu Sheikh, whose murder on March 21 had triggered violence in Bogtui that led to the death of 10 persons after several houses were set on fire.

Lalan Sheikh’s family members have alleged that he was tortured to death in CBI custody.

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