Calcutta High Court Directs State Government to Transfer Darivit High School Violence Case to NIA

In a significant development, the Calcutta High Court has instructed the West Bengal Government to comply with a single bench’s order that directed the transfer of the investigation into the violence at Darivit High School in Uttar Dinajpur district, which resulted in the deaths of two youths and injuries to others, to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Presided over by Chief Justice T.S. Shivagnanam, the division bench declined to impose any interim stay on the single bench’s order while agreeing to hear the West Bengal Government’s appeal challenging the transfer of the investigation to the NIA. The bench emphasized the urgency of implementing the single bench’s directive without delay.

Compensation Directions for Victims’ Families

The court noted that the West Bengal Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has yet to comply with a request made by the NIA in May 2023 for certain documents. Consequently, the state CID has been ordered to provide the necessary documents within a week. Furthermore, in accordance with the single bench’s order, the state government has been directed to compensate the families of both the deceased and injured individuals at appropriate rates within three weeks from the date of the order.

Background of the Case

The single bench had ordered an NIA investigation into the deaths of two young men during an alleged shooting and bombing incident amid a protest at Darivit High School in September 2018. Justice Rajashekhar Mantha had also directed the West Bengal Government to compensate the families of the deceased and the injured within two months.

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The violence erupted during a protest against the recruitment of Sanskrit and Urdu teachers, with local residents claiming that the school required teachers for Mathematics and Science, not language subjects. Following allegations of police firing during the incident, the state government had initially assigned the investigation to the state CID.

This directive from the Calcutta High Court marks a critical juncture in the case, ensuring a thorough investigation under the NIA’s purview and addressing the demands for justice and compensation for the affected families.

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