Wednesday, Oct 04, 2023

Two WB Police Personnel Arrested In Connection To Anish Khan's Death

Two WB Police Personnel Arrested In Connection To Anish Khan's Death

The two arrested were booked under IPC section 302 (murder). Home guard Bera and two other policemen were suspended on Tuesday.

Protest Rally In West Bengal Following Anish Khan's Death Demanding Arrest Of Police Personnel
Protest Rally In West Bengal Following Anish Khan's Death Demanding Arrest Of Police Personnel Outlook Photo

In connection with the death of student activist Anish Khan, two personnel of Amta police station in West Bengal's Howrah district were arrested, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said.

The two personnel were arrested as they could have influenced the investigation in the case, she told a press conference at the state secretariat.

"We don't know the actual incident but we will find out the truth very soon. No laxity will be tolerated. The government is tough," Banerjee said, amid widespread protests across the state, demanding justice over the "mysterious" death.

Home guard Kashinath Bera and Civic Volunteer Pritam Bhattacharya of the Amta police station were arrested after interrogation, Director-General of Police Manoj Malviya told reporters at another press conference.

Four people in uniforms of police and civic volunteers had allegedly pushed off Khan from the third floor of his house in Amta in the dead of the night on February 18, according to his family.

During the incident, the men in uniform had allegedly held his father Salem Khan at gunpoint after barging into the house, citing an ongoing investigation against him, the family said.

The police had earlier claimed that no personnel went to Khan's house that night.

The West Bengal government has formed a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the death, but Khan's family is adamant about their demand for investigation by the CBI.

The DGP said Khan's family was obstructing the SIT investigation "at the behest of some political parties in the area".

"The family did not hand over the mobile phone of the victim to the SIT. They are not allowing us to collect important materials but still, we have managed to make a breakthrough. We will achieve more success after custodial interrogation of the two arrested," Malviya said.

Khan's father insisted that since the state police was allegedly involved in the death of his son, there was no point in the same agency probing the incident.

When SIT members visited the house on Wednesday, Salem Khan even showed them an old clipping of then opposition leader Mamata Banerjee, demanding a CBI probe into the death case of Rizwanur Rahman, which rocked Kolkata in 2007. He questioned that if Banerjee could seek a CBI probe as an opposition leader, then why she was not handing over the investigation to the central agency this time.

The family also turned down the SIT team's proposal for a second post-mortem on the body of Khan in the presence of a magistrate amid allegations that the first one was done without following proper procedures.

The chief minister, meanwhile, came down heavily on the Left students' unions that have been protesting against Khan's death. "I have no issue with democratic protest. I had led so many protests in past," she said.

"But, if someone obstructs roads for political violence, if someone causes inconvenience to students returning from schools and colleges, office-goers and daily businesses, if someone's movement forces people to miss flights, that is a criminal offence and not a democratic movement," she said.

Banerjee said that West Bengal "will not tolerate this type of culture", questioning the Left over its government's response to the Singur and Nandigram agitations of the late 2000s.

She also cautioned a section of the press not to encourage "disruptive activities" to increase their viewership, stating that she believed in freedom of speech and do not want to initiate any action.

( With PTI Inputs)


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