Thu, 30 Mar 2023

New Delhi [India], March 15 (ANI): The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a fresh charge sheet against the 15th accused in West Bengal's Ekbalpore Communal violence case that pertains to clashes between two communities on October 9 last year.

The agency named Md Zeeshan Akbar, a resident of Kolkata's Khiddirpore, in the supplementary charge sheet filed before a special NIA court in Kolkata on Tuesday.

The agency in January this year had filed a charge sheet against 14 accused persons in the case, which pertains to the clash between members of two communities who engaged in brick-batting, stone-pelting and hurled bombs at each other.

It was found during the investigation that Akbar, alongwith other co-accused, had hatched a criminal conspiracy and had mobilised an 'unlawful assembly' with the intention to attack dwelling houses and shops of the Hindu community at Gali No. 8, Bhukailash Road, Mominpur, Kolkata by using crude bombs, petrol bombs, wooden sticks, brickbats and stones, said the NIA.

"The mob also disrupted the electricity supply in the area and prevented the Police Personnel from entering Gali No. 8, Bhukailash Road, Kolkata to control the riots. The mob also assaulted Police Personnel causing injuries to one of the police personnel," said the agency.

The member of the two communities also deterred police personnel from discharging their official duties by physically assaulting them, damaging vehicles parked nearby and also attacked police personnel in the jurisdiction of Ekbalpore Police Station, Kolkata.

The case was initially registered on October 10 last year at Ekbalpur Police Station in, Kolkata, West Bengal and re-registered by the NIA on October 18 last year.

Those earlier named in the charge sheet included Md Fakruddin Siddique, Md Salauddin Siddique, Md Sahabuddin Siddique, Md Idul Siddique, Md Ziauddin, Badrul Hossain, Ohab Hossain, Mustafa Hussain, Zakir Hossain, Gholam Md Izhar, Md Faiyaz, Sunny, Raju and Imamul Haque.

All the 15 accused persons have been chargesheeted under sections 120B, 147, 149, 152, 332, 353 and 436 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 and 5 of the Explosive Substances Act, 1908.

The NIA's first charge sheet was filed three days after it carried out searches at 17 locations in Kolkata in connection with the case and seized Rs 33.87 lakh in cash from the residence of three absconding accused.

The NIA sleuths conducted searches at these locations in Bhukailash Road in the Mominpur area of Kolkata.

During the searches, the NIA had claimed to seize a total amount of Rs 33,87,300 (Rs. 30,55,000 from the house of Md Salauddin Siddique, Rs 1,59,300 from the house of Zakir Hossain and Rs 1,73,000 from the house of Tipu; all three evading arrest), sharp-edged weapons and other incriminating items.

The NIA took over the case after the Counter Terrorism and Counter Radicalisation (CTCR) division of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) directed it to register an FIR and start a thorough probe considering the gravity of the case.

MHA's order followed the direction of the Calcutta High Court in October while hearing a writ petition relating to the Ekbalpore-Mominpur communal violence. The Court ordered the state police to form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising 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 for maintaining 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. (ANI)

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