Saturday, November 17, 2007

‘Hurdles’ to CBI probe Part II

‘Hurdles’ to CBI probe Part II

New Delhi, Nov. 16: Eight months after submitting its preliminary inquiry report, the CBI would find it difficult to pick up the threads of the investigation into the March 14 firing, sources said today.

A lot of crucial evidence may have been destroyed.

With Nandigram tense again and the CRPF patrolling the area, conducting the investigation is not going to be easy, the sources added.

“According to the initial inquiry, the boundaries between the police and the CPM cadres had been blurred anyway. Now the demarcation between the March 14 incident and the present situation is going to be extremely difficult,” a senior CBI official said.

“If we had taken the investigation to its logical conclusion at that time, the present situation may not have arisen. With the kind of weapons they had access to and the indoctrination of the cadres, Nandi- gram was waiting to explode,” he added.

Although the police had opened fire on March 14, the CBI apparently found clues to the involvement of CPM supporters.

A large number of .315 bullets, which the police use, were found at Sonachura and Gokulnagar in Nandigram and Janani brick kiln in CPM stronghold Khejuri.

“We had arrested 10 men and at least half of them had confessed to being CPM members. They were released on bail after that. Tracing them again will not be easy,” a source said.

The arrested party members had “confessed” to the CBI that they had been supplied with arms and ammunition by the party — .315 rifles, country-made arms, shotguns, automatic pistols, revolvers and bullets.

The sources said the CBI had found evidence of local CPM leaders assembling supporters at the brick kiln near the Bhangabera bridge, from where the police had started firing on the morning of March 14.