Skeleton case: Bengal ex-minister’s custody extended (Lead)

August 17th, 2011 - 7:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 17 (IANS) A court Wednesday extended by four days the Criminal Investigation Department’s (CID) custody of former Left Front minister Sushanto Ghosh, who was arrested in West Bengal’s Midnapore skeleton case.

Ghosh was presented before West Midnapore Chief Judicial Magistrate Manoj Roy’s court amid high security as hundreds of protesters gathered outside the premises since morning.

The former Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader will next be brought before the court Aug 20.

“We prayed before the court that he (Ghosh) was medically fit so his custody be extended by seven days,” a CID counsel said.

“The CID has recovered some valuable evidence, including two wireless sets, several cartridges and some keys from his residences. We need him for interrogation. The court, after hearing both the parties, extended the custody by four days,” he added.

Ghosh had to face the ire of protesters who surrounded his car and shouted slogans. Police had a harrowing time getting the crowd out of way of the convoy.

The former minister faced similar protest on the first hearing of the case Aug 11 when his anticipatory bail was cancelled and he was sent to seven-day CID custody.

He was admitted to the state-run SSKM Hospital Aug 13 after he complained of discomfort. He was shifted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) after reports showed he had high blood pressure.

He was discharged Wednesday following the CID’s plea as his custody period expired and he was to be taken before the court.

Following Ghosh’s arrest, the CID Saturday conducted simultaneous searches at his houses in Chandrakona Road and Benachapra in West Midnapore and Minto Park in the city.

A fresh case was slapped against him under the Indian Telegraph Act after the sleuths found two wireless sets at his Chandrakona Road residence.

Another case, under the Arms Act, has been lodged against his brother Prashanta following discovery of 16 rounds of ammunition from a room in which he stayed in the Ghosh’s ancestral house at Benachapra.

It is alleged that Ajay Acharya and some other members of the Trinamool Congress were attacked by 40 armed people allegedly belonging to the CPI-M Sep 22, 2002.

Ghosh was one of the 40 people named in the first information report (FIR) filed after the incident nine years back. Seven of the Trinamool members were brutally killed, the FIR said.

The victims, including Ajay Acharya, were untraceable since then. But June 4, the skeletons were recovered from near a pond in Mallickdanga area, near Ghosh’s Benechapra house, and led to the arrest of two of his aides.

Ghosh took anticipatory bail after a villager, Shyamal Acharya, filed a police complaint that one of the skeletons was of his father, Ajay Acharya.

DNA tests by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory here have confirmed the identity of Acharya and that of another missing Trinamool worker, Swapan Singha alias Raju Singha.

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