According to an eyewitness to the Birbhum violence in West Bengal, firefighter personnel waited 10 hours to enter burning buildings in Birbhum to rescue charred bodies owing to extreme heat.
Because of the extreme heat, it was impossible to enter the burned houses at the time, but the search for injured and affected people continued until 7 a.m. the next morning, according to the complainant. Following a Calcutta High Court ruling, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took over the investigation into the Birbhum violence case on Friday.
The complainant is a sub-inspector assigned to the Ramphurat police station in Birbhum, as well as the incident’s first responder.
According to the FIR copy, he received information from sub-inspector Ramesh Saha of Rampurhat police station (duty officer) at around 9.35 p.m. on March 21 that some houses in Bogtui village had caught fire and were burning.
“I along with my accompanying officers and force rushed to Bogtui village to work out the information. At about 10.05 pm, we reached Bogtui village, which is located at a distance of about one km from Bogtui Morh on NH-60, to work out the information and found that eight houses and some straw heaps and caught devastative fire and were burning fiercely,” he mentioned in the FIR.
“I immediately called duty officer SI Ramesh Saha and asked him to promptly inform fire brigade personnel to rush to the spot to extinguish the fire. After that, myself along with my son tried my level best to douse the fire with the help of local people by pouring water by buckets but failed to do so as the fire was so devastative. At about 10.25 pm, the fire brigade personnel of Rampurhat Fire and Emergency Services arrived at the spot with two fire tenders and started fire fighting operations,” he said.
Four people were identified with burn injuries during firefighting efforts. With the support of locals and family, they were quickly transferred to Rampurhat Medical College and Hospital. The fire was eventually brought under control, and firefighters left the scene about 2 a.m. after the fire was mostly extinguished, according to the FIR.
“Due to immense heat, it was not possible to get into those burnt houses at that time. However, search process for injured and affected persons was continued on March 22 (next day) morning at about 07.10 am, the fire brigade personnel again arrived at the village and joined in our search operations,” as per complainant statement in the FIR.
According to the FIR, the majority of the residences had been fully burned and were also found to have been plundered. Seven burned dead bodies were discovered in the houses while the search was underway. During treatment at a hospital, one of the injured people taken from the residence succumbed to her extensive burn injuries.
All of the victims had been burned beyond recognition. According to the FIR, the dead bodies were immediately taken to Rampurhat College and Hospital for a post-mortem examination.
After the execution of Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Bhadu Sheikh, a mob allegedly set houses on fire in the Rampurhat region of West Bengal’s Birbhum on Tuesday, killing eight people.