Sitalkuchi firing: CISF personnel did not appear for interview, HC told

The report said a complaint has been filed before the additional chief judicial magistrate's court in sub-divisional headquarter Mathabhanga for non-attendance in compliance with an order from a public servant and it has fixed the matter for hearing on November 16.

The West Bengal CID on Thursday claimed before the Calcutta High Court that six CISF personnel have not appeared for interview despite notices in connection with firing by the central force in Cooch Behar district on a polling day during Assembly elections earlier this year, in which four persons died.

In a report, the CID said the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel have requested that they be examined through the virtual mode in view of the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.

Four persons were killed as CISF opened fire allegedly after coming under attack from locals near a booth in Sitalkuchi during the fourth phase of polling on April 10. The assembly election was held in
eight phases.

The report, filed by the district detective inspector of Cooch Behar before a division bench comprising Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice R Bharadwaj, said the investigation is pending for re-examination of the six CISF personnel.

It stated that the six men have been given notice on four occasions, but they have
not turned up citing the pandemic situation.

The report claimed that there is no provision for examination through the virtual mode, which has been sought by the central force personnel, as law does not provide for
the same.

The high court had directed the CID to file a report on the progress of investigation in connection with a PIL seeking an independent probe in the matter.

The report said a complaint has been filed before the additional chief judicial magistrate’s court in sub-divisional headquarter Mathabhanga for non-attendance in compliance with an order from a public servant and it has fixed the matter for hearing on November 16.

It said statements of 53 witnesses have been recorded till date and evidence has been collected in connection with the incident.

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