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Violence during Bharat Bandh: CID probe finds Bengal cops guilty of torching vehicles

KOLKATA: Three constables have been put on suspension after they were seen in a video footage setting a few vehicles on fire in Malda during nationwide bandh on January 8, the incident which Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had portrayed as an act of Congress supporters.

She cited it as the reason for skipping the Congress-led meeting convened by Sonia Gandhi in Delhi, four days ago, to build momentum against the CAA.

Two civic volunteers were also removed from their job as they were found carrying out the same act with the three constables. A departmental inquiry has been initiated against the constables.

“The constables have been suspended based on the findings of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) which was assigned to conduct a probe into the vandalism,’’ said an official of the state home department.

The CID’S revelation has endorsed the claims of the CPM and the Congress that their supporters were not involved in the incident of setting the vehicles on fire.

Sujapur in Malda district witnessed large-scale violence on January 8 in which police were attacked with bricks and stones.

Five vehicles were torched in the incident.

A day after the incident, Mamata, who had written to all non-BJP chief ministers to come forward and organise mass movement against CAA, said in the state Assembly that she would not attend the meeting in Delhi because of dirty politics by CPM and Congress over the issues of CAA and NRC.

During the investigation,the CID came across video footage.

“In the footage, three police constables, two from the fourth battalion of the state armed force and one from the district armed force, and two civic volunteers were seen smashing windshields of five vehicles and setting them ablaze. We submitted our finding to the state home department,’’ said a CID officer.