HC orders NIA probe into Bengal violence

Kolkata: The Calcutta high court on Thursday ordered an NIA probe into the Ram Navami violence in How- rash’s Shivpuri, Hooghly’s Mishra and Uttar Dinajpur’s Dalkhola on March 30, casting “serious doubts” on Ben- gal police’s investigations.

The HC directed the police to hand over all case re- cords to the central agency within two weeks. BJP lead- erSuvendu Adhikari and three others had moved the HC seeking an NIA probe.

A division bench of acting Chief Justice TS S vagnanam and Justice Hornaday Bhattacharyya observed that the nature of offences mentioned in the police reports on the clashes fell under the definition of “scheduled offences”, as de- fined in the NIA Act.

HC orders NIA probe into,
HC orders NIA probe into

The bench also noted that advocate-general (AG) SN Mukherjee, representing the state, had not disputed that such violence qualified as “scheduled offences” under the NIA Act. The AG had, however, contended that it was not required for the NIA to investigate all scheduled offences, but only those that affected the sovereignty, security and integrity of the country.

The HC pointed out that the police reports had mentioned “displaying of fire- arms with an aim to kill police personnel” while the seizure lists included “bamboo sticks, iron rods, stones, bricks, swords, glass bottles” among others.

On the basis of these re- ports, it was evident that de- spite offences under the NIA Act, no such case was Regis- treed, the HC said.

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