Hanshkhali Gang Rape & Murder: CBI Files Charge Sheet Against 9 Persons

Ranaghat, July 8: The CBI on Friday filed a charge sheet against 9 persons in connection with the rape and murder of a minor girl in Nadia’s Hanshkhali that occurred on April 4.

The charge-sheeted persons include Trinamul leader Samar Gayali, a member of the party ruled Gajna gram panchayat, and his son Sohail (alias Brajo) Gayali, apart from seven others that include two minors, who are now being treated as “adults” as per the provisions of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, which was also applied in the prosecution of a “minor” in the Nirbhaya rape and murder case.

The accused persons have been charged with rape, murder, destroying evidence, and other charges. Samar’s son Sohail is the prime accused in the case, who was arrested along with five others friends.

Out of the 9 persons charge-sheeted, the CBI has already arrested 8 and is presently under jail custody, while 1 accused named Anshuman Bagchi, a close aide of Trinamul leader Samar Gayali remained elusive so far. 

As per the complaint lodged by the victim girl’s mother Anshuman and another accused Parimal Biswas took the body of her daughter to the unauthorized crematorium where they set her on fire. Anshuman fled soon after CBI was entrusted with the probe. But prior to that Hanshkhali police did not bother to summon him or to record his statement, said a CBI sleuth.

The 44-page charge sheet was filed by the CBI team before a special POCSO court under ACJM Ranaghat, on the 86th day since it took up the investigation under the direction of the Calcutta High Court.

The CBI took up the case from CID and filed a fresh FIR at Hanskhali police station and named 11 persons in the FIR. However, 2 of them – Parimal Biswas and Ashok Biswas, were not eventually charge-sheeted due to the absence of any evidence against them, CBI sources said.

CBI’s probe team was led by Sezam Sherpa, an inspector

On April 4 the victim girl was allegedly raped by Samar’s son Sohail and his friends at his home during a birthday party in his absence. The girl returned home while bleeding excessively and died without treatment the next morning. 

Knowing about the demise of the girl, Samarendra had used his political clout and engaged his aides Pijush and others who took away the body at gunpoint and cremated it at an unauthorized crematorium in the village, apparently to destroy evidence of the crime committed by his son and his friends.

A lawyer defending one of the accused said,  “There is no specific evidence against most of the accused including Samar Gayali and his son.  But the CBI has desperately charge sheeted them. It is now their turn to prove the charge for which I am eagerly waiting”.

A member of the CBI’s probing team said, “Specific charges have been brought against the accused person corroborating their statement with factual details along with the circumstantial evidence. Nothing has been done with prejudice…All charges will be proved during the time of prosecution”.

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