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CBI officers talk to local people in connection with probe Birbhum killings

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Sleuths of the CBI, which is probing the Birbhum killings in West Bengal, will on Sunday visit a hospital to interact with those who were injured in the violence, an official of the agency said.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officers will also talk to local people in connection with the probe, he said.

We will talk to a woman and three others, who were injured in the violence and are now undergoing treatment in a hospital, to get their version. We will also interact with local people in Bogtui village. The Central Forensic Science Laboratory personnel will continue their examinations," the CBI official told PTI.

Unidentified people had on March 21 set ablaze 10 houses in the village near Rampurhat town, killing at least eight people, including women and children.

A list of the villagers has been prepared so that our officials can interact with them. We have requested the administration to find out those who fled the village, the CBI official said.

The sleuths of the central agency will also interact with fire brigade officials to understand what had transpired on a dreadful night, he said.

The CBI team, that reached Rampurhat late on Friday night, started the probe early on Saturday morning under the leadership of a DIG-rank officer

On Sunday the Central Bureau of Investigation has named 21 people as accused in the Birbhum massacre. The list of accused, sources said, is the same as that of the state police.

The agency on Saturday had began its investigation into the Bogtui carnage by visiting the Birbhum village with experts from the Central Forensic Laboratory to piece together what exactly happened on the night of March 21 that led to the death of eight persons.

Over the next two hours, the CBI officers split in multiple groups and scanned the other houses set on fire, as well as examined the entry and exit points, the rooms and terraces.

Battling a furious political backlash over the killings, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had alleged that "something big" was behind the incident.

"I never believed something so barbaric can happen in modern Bengal. Mothers and children were killed. Your family members died but it is my heart that was crushed...," Mamata Banerjee has said.

Alleging a bigger conspiracy, she called for "stringent action" and said the police would investigate all angles.

The Calcutta High Court on Friday handed over the investigation into the Birbhum killings to the central agency and set a deadline of April 7 to submit its progress report.


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