West Bengal: BJP delegation on way to Rampurhat where arson killed 10 people
Kolkata/IBNS: A delegation of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs, led by Leader of Opposition (LoP) Suvendu Adhikari, will visit the Bogtui village of Rampurhat in the Birbhum district of West Bengal, where at least 10 people were burnt alive following the death of a local Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader.
According to reports, deputy chief of TMC-ruled Barshal village panchayat, Bhadu Sheikh, was killed after five unidentified miscreants had hurled crude bombs at him at Bogtui village in Birbhum's Rampurhat on Monday night.
After the TMC leader's death was confirmed by a local hospital, tension erupted at Bogtui village and multiple houses in the area were allegedly ransacked and set on fire.
A state fire and emergency services official said three charred bodies had been recovered on Monday late night from a house.
Later on Tuesday morning, after dousing the blaze, firemen recovered seven more charred bodies from a burnt house.
Sources in the local hospital said there were several children and women among the victims.
A senior official of West Bengal police force said the state's Criminal Investigation Department (CID) will investigate the matter while a three-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) led by ADG CID Gyanwant Singh has already been formed.
After visiting the scene, Birbhum SP Nagendranath Tripathi said a forensic team will investigate the cause behind the house fire, while 20 people have been arrested so far.
A senior state police official said the Officer-in-Charge (OC) of the local police station and local SDPO have been 'closed' from duties.
Earning criticism from the Opposition, TMC's Birbhum district president and powerful leader Anubrata Mondal claimed that the fire had started in those houses at Bogtui village due to a short circuit in a television set.
West Bengal Minister and TMC veteran Firhad Hakim visited the spot and cried "conspiracy" behind the incident.
"A conspiracy has been hatched to defame the TMC. The truth must come out," said Hakim.
Slamming the government, West Bengal Leader of Opposition (LoP) Suvendu Adhikari sought intervention from the central government.
Adhikari has also demanded the President's rule in the state, which has been ruled by the TMC since 2011.