Birbhum Violence Accused Dies By Suicide In Probe Agency CBI’s Custody


One of the main accused in Bogtui village of Bengal’s Birbhum district, in which 10 people were killed, died by suicide in CBI custody today. Sheikh was arrested from a hideout in Jharkhand’s Pakur, eight months after the massacre in which women and children were burnt alive.

Lalon Sheikh’s body will now be taken for a post-mortem to Rampurhat Medical College and Hospital. Senior police officers from the district reached the CBI office after the incident.

Sources told NDTV that the CBI has informed the local police that he has died by suicide while in their custody. After his arrest, Lalon Sheikh was kept in the temporary camp set up by the CBI after the probe was handed over to the agency by the Calcutta High Court.

The CBI is probing the case on the orders of the Calcutta High Court. The probe agency arrested Sheikh this month, more than eight months after the incident. He was arrested after months of surveillance set up to catch him, as he had evaded the police since the incident.

Lalon Sheikh is one of the prime accused in the March 21 Bogtui violence. He was arrested by CBI on December 4. Sheikh is believed to have led a crowd that set homes on fire in Bogtui leading to the death of ten people, mostly women and children.

Lalon Sheikh was produced before a Rampurhat court on Sunday and sent to six days CBI custody.

Ten persons were killed in the Birbhum violence after several houses were set on fire after the murder of the deputy chief of a gram panchayat and Trinamool’s Bhadu Sheikh. The CBI has been investigating the Bogtui murders case and the murder of Bhadu Sheikh as well.

The agency has filed a 1192-page charge sheet based on eyewitness accounts, security camera footage and statements by two of the three women who died of burn injuries at Rampurhat Medical College and Hospital. An eight-year-old girl was among those that died in the incident. The CBI charge sheet says Bhadu Sheikh’s murder, whose killing sparked off the violence,  was the fallout of rivalry between him and his associates over dubious land deals, illegal businesses and a share of extortion money.

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