NIA to probe 2019 twin blasts in Birbhum district: Calcutta HC

A division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Thursday upheld a special court order and ordered a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the twin blasts in Birbhum district in 2019.

The division bench of Justice Joymalya Bagchi and Justice Bivas Pattanyak also ordered the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of West Bengal Police to handover all the documents related to the case to the NIA, besides directing the CID to extend all necessary cooperation to the central agency on this count.

On August 29, 2019, there was a blast at the residence of Haitunnesa Khatun at Ranguni village in Birbhum district. On September 20, 2019, there was another blast at the residence of Bablu Mondal at Gangpur village in the same district.

Although initially the investigation was taken over by the CID, later the NIA took over the probe. However, the central agency later approached a special court alleging that the CID sleuths refused to handover the documents related to the case to the NIA.

After the special court directed the CID to handover the documents to the NIA, the state government challenged the decision at the Calcutta High Court.

On Thursday, the division bench of the Calcutta High Court upheld the order of the special court and directed the CID to handover all documents related to the case to the central probe agency.

The division bench observed that as per the law, any state probe agency has to mandatorily submit a preliminary report to the NIA, which has the prerogative on whether to accept the findings of the preliminary report.

However, the court observed that in the twin blasts case, no such preliminary report was sent to the NIA on this count.

The division bench also observed that since the jurisdiction of NIA is much more extended compared to any state agency, the probe in the twin blasts case should be carried on by the central probe agency.

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