New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has registered a case and initiated a probe into the October 9 anti-Hindu violence in Mominpur in West Bengal, sources said on Wednesday.
The move comes after the Counter Terrorism and Counter Radicalization (CTCR) division of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) directed the agency to register a First Information Report (FIR) and start a thorough probe considering the gravity of the case.
MHA’s order followed the recent direction of Calcutta High Court which earlier this month, while hearing a writ petition relating to the Ekbalpore-Mominpur communal violence, ordered the state police for the formation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising of experienced police officials to probe into the incident.
The petitioners had approached the Court alleging that the State Police administration remained silent spectators to the communal violence that erupted in the Ekbalpore-Mominpur area of Kolkata on the eve of Laxmi Puja.
Accordingly, the petitioners prayed for the deployment of the Central Para Military Forces to maintain peace in the aftermath of the violence, and for the transfer of the investigation of the crimes to the NIA, alleging the inefficiency of the State Police to investigate the matter in a fair manner.
The Court looked at preliminary reports filed before it. It noted that five criminal cases had already been registered over the incident under the Explosive Substances Act, 1908 and the Arms Act, 1959, the investigation of which cases was in progress. The Court also noted that as per the preliminary report, 42 persons were arrested, 15 live bombs, 4 crude bombs and various other weapons had already been seized, and that Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 was promulgated in the area.
The court observed that for the Central Government to decide whether a given case may be investigated by the NIA, keeping in mind the gravity of the offence and other relevant factors it was not for the Court to answer that in the first instance.
In the anti-Hindu riots at Momipur in Kolkata, many houses in the Mayurbhanj area were ransacked, and vehicles were destroyed on October 9. (With inputs from ANI)