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Bengal govt approaches SC against Calcutta HC's order for NIA probe of Ram Navami clashes

IANS | May 19, 2023 11:19 AM

KOLKATA: The West Bengal government has approached the Supreme Court challenging an earlier order of the Calcutta High Court for an NIA probe into the Ram Navami clashes in Howrah and Hooghly district earlier this year.

In its petition, the state government argued that the probe cannot be handed over to the central agency since the court's order was on a PIL filed by Leader of Assembly in the West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari with an ulterior political motive.

The matter will come up for hearing on Friday.

On April 27, the division bench of the Calcutta High Court's Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya, while ordering for the NIA probe in the matter, also directed the state police to handover all case-related documents to the central agency.

The NIA has already filed six FIRs in connection to the clashes.

The central agency had also sent communiques to the Additional Director General in-charge of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of West Bengal Police, as well as the commissioners of Chandernagore Police Commiserate and Howrah City Police, seeking documents related to the case, including copies of the FIRs filed by the state police.

While ordering the NIA probe, the division bench observed that it is beyond the ability of the state police to find those who were responsible for the clashes or who instigated it and hence a probe by a central agency was necessary.

Justice Sivagnanam also raised questions about the suspension of Internet services in the troubled belts after the clashes.

"In such clashes the Internet services cannot be suspended. Such events keep the people tense, " he observed.

The division bench had also questioned the efficiency of the intelligence wing of the state police regarding pelting of stones from the roofs of residences in the troubled belts.

It questioned the failure of the intelligence in getting information about stones being accumulated on the rooftops.

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