The CBI, in its preliminary report on the Birbhum killings in West Bengal, said that the massacre was carried out in a “planned and organised manner” and was a result of "direct fallout" of the murder of local TMC leader Bhadu Sheikh.
In the over 20-page report, the central probe agency has also stated that the seven persons whose charred bodies were recovered from inside one of the burnt houses in Bogtui village, were “assaulted before being burnt alive”.
"The brutal incident of burning and killings at Bogtui is the direct fallout of the killing of one Bhadu Shiekh at Bogtui More on the same day (March 21) at 8.30 pm," the report, a copy of which was accessed by PTI, said.
"After the killing of Bhadu Sheikh, his close associates and members of his group went berserk, formed unlawful assembly, and in furtherance of their common object, started burning the houses and killing the family members of the rival group in a very planned and organised manner," it said.
The Central Bureau of Investigation’s findings said that the rivalry was "long standing" between two groups -- one of Bhadu Sheikh and another of Palash Sheikh and Sona Sheikh.
The cause of the rivalry was related to "their previous enmity for dominance in the local area and for control over income from illegal collection of money from commercial vehicles and other illegal activities".
Nine people died of burn injuries after their houses at Bogtui were set afire by miscreants last month.
The CBI took over the investigation following a Calcutta High Court order and registered a case on March 25.
The probe agency had Thursday arrested four people from Mumbai in connection with the killings.
TMC leader and former president of Rampurhat Block-1 Anarul Hossain and 21 others, who were arrested by the Birbhum Police, are also in CBI custody.