Friday, December 7, 2007

Burnt bones unearthed

The Statesman

Statesman News Service
NANDIGRAM, Dec. 6: “Burnt bones” of what appears to be five individuals emerged today from five graves that were found yesterday on either side of the Khejuri-Tetultala Road about one kilometre from Khejuri College. Five freshly dug graves found by the CRPF were dug up today in the presence of the chief judicial magistrate, Contai, Mr JP Singh.
It appears the bodies were burnt and the remains buried at the spot.
The burnt bones were packed and sealed in five separate bags and taken away by the state police, along with Mr Singh. The judicial magistrate arrived at the spot at 2 p.m. “Burnt bones were found from all the five graves. These bones will be sent for forensic tests, possibly to Calcutta Medical College and Hospital,” Mr SS Panda, superintendent of police, Midnapore East, said. A murder case has been started against unknown people in Nandigram PS as there were no witnesses.
The forensic tests will be carried out under order from the CJM, Contai. IG law and order, Mr Raj Kanojia, said that after initial forensic tests, DNA tests would be carried out.
A senior CRPF officer said that five separate sets of human bones each, all in burnt condition, were found from the five graves. “Five separate packs were made and these were sealed before being taken away by the state police and the CJM, Contai, Mr JP Singh,” the officer said.
Bones such as skull, femur, etc were found from each of the graves, and from each grave bones of only one individual were discovered, he added. DNA tests will have to be carried out to identify whom these bones belong to. These tests could take months to come to fruition.
A CBI team today carried out further investigations into the 14 March carnage. They questioned two police officers who were in the area on the date.
Mr Sekhar Ray, former OC, Nandigram police station, and Mr Anil Hathi, former OC, Khejuri PS, were taken by a CBI team to Bhangabera and Adhikarypara, two places where the firing from alleged CPI-M cadre and police personnel took place.
The CBI team questioned the two policemen on who gave the order for firing, where the police were stationed and so on during the firing. Who these bones belong to will only be known after the results of DNA tests come in, a process that could take months.
Mr Shyamal Chakroborty, state Citu president, said that remains of the body of five persons found in Khejuri recently were of CPI-M activists. They were killed by bombs hurled at them by BUPC men but their bodies were not properly cremated as the cremation ground could not be reached due to violence in the area.

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