West Bengal's Birbhum district witnessed a bloodbath on Monday, March 24, where eight people, including three women and two children, were burnt alive in Bogtui village on the outskirts of Rampurhat town. The incident has sparked outrage across the country.
Victims Beaten Up, Burnt Alive
A shocking development has come forward in the incident after the post-mortem reports were released. The deceased were brutally beaten up and later burnt alive, and their houses were also gutted on fire.
Chronology Of Events
The attack and the fire resulting in the death of eight people came a day after local Trinamool Panchayat leader, Bhadu Sheikh, was killed on Monday, March 21. The local leader was reportedly at a tea stall and had moved away from his guards to take a phone call.
At this time, six to seven miscreants came on the motorcycles and hurled crude bombs at him and immediately fled the spot, The Quint reported. Although he was rushed to the hospital, he succumbed to the injuries.
Family Locked Inside, Mob Threw Crude Bombs
The eight victims were Sheikh's distant relatives. One of the family members who managed to survive, Mihilal Sheikh, spoke to the media and narrated the gruesome crime he witnessed.
Along with other locals, he saw a mob marching towards them with more crude bombs and dangerous weapons. Mihilal was a few meters away from his house, hiding with his brother. He saw the mob approaching his house, locking it while the members were inside, and throwing crude bombs.
Mihilal's wife, daughter and other family members were charged with death. Only one of his daughters have survived the incident. The mob set around ten houses on fire.
The Police has registered two FIRs, first for the murder of the village head and second for the chain of events. So far, 20 people have been arrested in the second case.
Police Denies Political Angle
Responding to the query if the incident was politically motivated, the Police denied any such angle. The incident is suspected of being triggered by Sheikh's killing, but the Police deny claims.
The security was tightened in the area, and the authorities installed CCTV cameras before the arrival of Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee.
After visiting the site, the CM said it was appalling to witness such an incident in modern Bengal. "Mothers and children were killed, and your family members died, but my heart has been crushed," NDTV quoted Banerjee as saying. Banerjee said that there was no room for excuses and called for a detailed probe.
The CM immediately summoned a top police officer and instructed him to punish policemen found negligent in responding to complaints, especially the Sub-Divisional Police Officer and the Inspector in charge. She has also directed the police to arrest Trinamool Congress block president, Rampurhat Anarul Hossain for his involvement in the violence if he does not surrender.
Right after her orders, Hossain was apprehended.
Banerjee met the bereaved families and announced ₹2 lakh compensation for rebuilding the charred homes. She also assured them of justice and jobs to the other members.
Residents Vacating Village
The recent incident has developed fear in the residents' minds, who have now decided to vacate the village. While most of them immediately moved out amidst the incident, many are on the move.
They do not hold any faith in the Police anymore and doubt if any safety net will be provided to them. "Had there been a police security, the incident would never have happened," a villager told ANI.
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