Calcutta HC Registers Suo Motu Petition Regarding Anis Khan's Death, Seeks State's Response
The Calcutta High Court on Monday took suo motu cognisance of the alleged murder of student leader Anis Khan and directed the state to make submissions on the matter on February 24.
The matter was mentioned by a lawyer expressing extreme urgency and a prayer was made before the court for initiating a suo motu petition.
Justice Rajasekhar Mantha directed the registry to number the prayer as a suo motu petition and asked the state to make submissions on the matter on February 24.
Alleging that Khan, a social activist, has been murdered, senior advocate Bikash Bhattacharya and lawyer Koustav Bagchi submitted that he had publicly raised his voice against donations allegedly being demanded by educational institutions and the poor condition of certain hospitals in Uluberia in Howrah district.
They submitted before the Court that on February 19, "civic volunteers/personnel of the Amta police", went to the residence of Khan for interrogation in connection with a case and after meeting his father on the ground floor, went up to the third floor on the pretext of speaking to his son.
"Khan was beaten up by the police, murdered and thrown over from the said higher floor," the lawyers alleged before the Court.
It was further submitted that the authorities with a view to placating the situation, have offered a job to the deceased Anis Khan's brother and apprehension was expressed that the investigation may be frustrated and compromised since allegations are primarily against the members of the ruling dispensation.
The incident has led to widespread protests and opposition parties have demanded an investigation by an independent agency.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday ordered formation of a special investigation team into the death, asserting that the government will hold an impartial probe.
Soon after, state DGP Manoj Malaviya announced the formation of the SIT headed by Additional Director General of Police, CID, Gyanwant Singh.
Alleging that four people had come to their house on the night of February 18 donning police and civic volunteer uniform and pushed his son off the third floor of their house at Amta in Howrah district leading to his death, the father of the deceased has demanded a CBI investigation into the matter.
The police, however, said no law enforcer had gone to his house at that time.
Khan, who had been with the SFI in the past and a prominent face in the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests at Park Circus Maidan in Kolkata in late 2019 and 2020, later joined the Indian Secular Front.
With PTI inputs