Netai massacre: CBI asks police to arrest 25 CPM cadres
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In a significant development in Netai massacre inquiry in which nine villagers were killed on January 7, the CBI has asked the West Midnapore district police to arrest the CPM members and hired goons who used to reside at the house of Rathin Dandapat in Netai in West Midnapore. It was from this house that villages were fired upon on January 7.
According to district police sources, the CBI has given them a list of 25 names who were directly involved in the incident and all of them were identified by the villagers as "camp residents". However, the police and administration are in a fix on the matter as arresting them before the elections might cause a severe setback to the CPM. There was also a law and order issue attached to it, the police said.
Significantly, there are about 42 Assembly seats in the Junglemahal area including Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore districts out of which the CPM at present is retaining about 39 seats. The Netai incident and the severe indictment of the Calcutta High court of the CID investigation and the subsequent handing over of the case to the CBI have all put the CPM on the back foot. This, in turn, has made the political functionaries in the area including MP Pulin Behari Baskey and Sushanta Ghosh, minister for Pashimanchal Unnayan Parishad ( Western Region Development Council) create a direct pressure on the police for not cooperating with the CBI, said a senior police official.
A senior leader of CPM district committee on condition of anonymity said, "It was never expected that the case would go to the CBI. We wanted the CID to handle the case and the CID made arrests also. But similarly, we had never expected Aswini Chalak and Abani Sinha to breakdown in front of the CBI officers and to reveal the names of our zonal committee secretary Annuj Pandey and Dalim Pandey. Now the CBI is after Annuj and our district committee member Fullora. If they are picked up before the election, it will create a bad impact."