The Calcutta High Court today ordered a CBI investigation into the unnatural death of Niranjan Baishnab, who was believed to be an eyewitness in the murder of Congress councillor Tapan Kandu in Purulia district of West Bengal.

A Bench of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha ordered that the case papers in the matter be handed to the central agency, which is already probing the councillor's killing on the High Court's order.

Kandu's widow Purnima had prayed for the transfer of the probe into Baishnab's death to CBI, claiming that it has a direct link with the murder of the Congress councillor of Jhalda municipality.

Tapan Kandu was shot dead near his residence on March 13, while taking an evening stroll. He had won from ward number 2 of Jhalda Municipality for the fourth time in the civic polls held in February and was a popular leader in the area.

Baishnab, Kandu's friend, was found dead at his residence on April 6, two days after the same bench of the High Court had ordered a CBI probe into Kandu's murder.

The councillor's widow had moved the High Court seeking a CBI investigation in the murder of her husband, alleging complicity of local police in the case.

Ordering a CBI probe into Kandu's murder on April 4, Justice Mantha had said that the transfer of the investigation to the central agency was necessary in view of the dicta of the Supreme Court that "it must be clearly evident and apparent to the common public at large that there is indeed honest, transparent and just investigation into the crime in question."

With PTI inputs