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  India   All India  21 Feb 2022  Mamata Banerjee orders SIT probe on killing of student leader

Mamata Banerjee orders SIT probe on killing of student leader

THE ASIAN AGE. | RAJIB CHOWDHURI
Published : Feb 22, 2022, 3:15 am IST
Updated : Feb 22, 2022, 7:18 am IST

Anees was associated with the Indian Secular Front, which was allied with the Left Front and the Congress in their fight against the TMC

 West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. (PTI)
  West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. (PTI)

Kolkata: Calling Aliah University student union leader Anees Khan’s murder in Howrah “unfortunate” in a bid to douse the uproar, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday ordered an “impartial” probe by a special investigation team (SIT) into the case after the victim’s family refused to meet her at Nabanna, the state secreraiat, and instead asked her to visit them instead.

The Trinamul Congress supremo also stunned the Opposition, which has been raising a hue and cry against her government over the police’s allegedly dubious role in the murder, by praising Anees as her “favourite boy” for “helping” her during the Assembly elections last year. Anees was associated with the Indian Secular Front, which was allied with the Left Front and the Congress in their fight against the TMC.

On Monday morning, state panchayat minister Pulak Roy, who is the TMC MLA from Uluberia South in Howrah, visited Anees’ family at Amta and requested them to meet the CM. But the victim’s father, Salam Khan, refused, citing his ill-health. He demanded that the CM visit them instead. Ms Banerjee said: “The government will conduct an impartial probe. I have given instructions while talking to the state director- general of police on Sunday. They have arranged forensic reports. The incident is unfortunate. No death is expected to us.”

She added: “We had good contacts with Anees. Those who are trying to hog the limelight on TV do not know that Anees was in touch with us. He also helped me a lot in the polls. So, he was our favourite boy. We are forming a SIT, which will include the CID, under the state chief secretary and DGP for the probe. Whoever is accused, even if it’s me, will not be spared. I am rough and tough in such cases. A report will be submitted to me after the completion of the probe within 15 days. I request the family to repose their faith in me. There will be no mercy for the accused. There will be justice.”

During the day, the Calcutta high court sought a report from the state government within the next three days after accepting a petition filed by a lawyer, Kaustav Bagchi, praying for suo moto cognisance of the killing. While passing the order, Justice Rajasekhar Mantha scheduled a hearing on the plea on February 24.

Later, Howrah Rural superintendent of police Saumya Roy, who is under the scanner of the state police top brass over allegations of inaction, said that Anees was an accused in two cases each at Bagnan and Amta police stations. He said the Bagnan case included charges under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, related to sexual abuse on minors, with a court warrant pending against him.

Meanwhile, Anees’ cellphone, which was missing since his murder on February 18 night, was found at his home in the evening. His family members, however, refused to hand it over to the police for the probe, and said they would submit it in the court.

Tags: anees khan murder case
Location: India, West Bengal, Calcutta [Kolkata]