Blow to Bengal govt: HC tells CID to hand Gurap probe to CBI

Dissatisfied with the CID investigation into the deaths of two women of a welfare home in Gurap in Hooghly district, the Calcutta High Court today handed over the probe to the CBI.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Joymalya Bagchi directed the CID to hand over documents related to the case immediately to the central investigating agency.

The order comes as a blow to the Trinamool Congress government — this is the first time during its tenure that the high court has ordered a CBI probe on a state matter.

In July last year, the body of 30-year-old Guria was found buried in the backyard of Rehabilitation Centre for Mentally Ill Persons (Women) run by NGO Dulal Smriti Samsad. Police initially took up the investigation, which was then handed over to the CID. The CID found that two other women had also died in the home earlier. The bodies were found beside the Damodar river in Jamalpur in Burdwan district.

The CID filed a chargesheet against 11 persons in connection with the killing of Guria, but remained silent on the death of the other two women — Ranjana Devi and Sunita Paswan. A PIL was filed by advocate Basabi Roychoudhury in the Calcutta High Court last year demanding a CBI probe and compensation for the family members of the victims.

During the previous hearing about a week ago, the division bench questioned the state's counsel on the findings of the CID in connection with the death of Ranjana and Sunita and asked the agency to file a report and case diary in court.

Today public prosecutor Manjit Singh placed the CID report, which did not give any details about the probe into the two deaths. After going through the report, the bench questioned Singh about several aspects of the investigation but Singh failed to reply. Singh said the investigating officer was busy dealing with some important case and he was not in Kolkata now.

At this, the division bench pulled up the CID for not giving due importance to the probe and transferred the probe to the CBI.

Advocate Subrata Mukhopadhyay, counsel of the petitioner, said the women had been tortured and raped in the home. Those who had raised their voice had been killed. The few women of the home who had given statements to the CID said that they had been raped there. But the CID did not investigate this properly, Mukhopadhyay said.

On the plea for compensation, the division bench said it would hear the matter after four weeks. Meanwhile it asked the state to explain its stand on compensation.

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