CPI-M demands probe into policeman's murder

Kolkata, Feb 18 (IANS) Charging West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and a state minister with shielding the "culprits" who allegedly killed a policeman, the opposition CPI-M Monday demanded a CBI inquiry into the case.

"The chief minister and a minister in her cabinet are defending the accused. The way the situation is being handled by the government and the way the (police) commissioner has been removed, is only to shield the culprits," Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Surya Kanta Mishra told a media conference here.

A police sub-inspector was shot dead in clashes between student activists in the Garden Reach area Feb 12.

Trinamool Congress councillor Mohammad Iqbal was booked for his alleged involvement in the murder. He is yet to be arrested.

Banerjee's government - especially state Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim - has been facing flak for shielding Iqbal.

Two days after the policeman was shot dead, Banerjee - who also holds the home portfolio - shifted out Kolkata Police chief Ranjit Kumar Pachnanda for "failure to apprehend the criminals".

The chief minister entrusted a Criminal Investigation Department (CID) team with the Garden Reach investigation.

Mishra, leader of opposition in the state assembly, said that since the chief minister was "involved in shielding the real culprits" in the case, a CID probe could not deliver justice.

Earlier, the Congress also demanded that the CBI investigate the killing of the police officer.

The CPI-M sought a CBI probe in the murder after the Calcutta High Court Monday directed the central investigating agency to probe the rape and murder of a mentally challenged woman whose body was exhumed from a mental asylum at Gurap in West Bengal's Hooghly district.

The court directed the state police CID to hand over the case-related documents to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The body of 32-year-old Gudiya was exhumed from a residential home for the destitute and mentally challenged women July 11, 2012, amidst allegations that she was tortured, raped and killed. She went missing from the home June 26.

"In view of the judgement given by the high court today in the matter of the Gurap incident, clearly expressing dissatisfaction over the inquiry by the CID, it is fully justified to demand a CBI inquiry also in this (Garden Reach) case," Mishra added.

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