Jhargram: A local court Thursday charged the key accused in the Netai massacre, CPI-M leader Anuj Pandey with murder and remanded him to jail custody till May 12.
Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Krishna Murari Prasad Gupta passed the order when Pandey, the former West Midnapore CPI-M district committee member was produced at the Jhargram sub-divisional court amidst tight security.
Gupta turned down the plea of CBI counsel AK Bhakat for 15 days` custody and ruled that Pandey`s case would henceforth be heard at the Midnapore district court as the case on the massacre was being heard there since CBI took over investigation into it.
The charges brought against Pandey, also former CPI-M zonal secretary member of Binpur, are murder (section 302 of IPC), unlawful compulsory labour (section 374) and abettor when offence was committed (section 114) besides under provisions of the Arms Act.
Pandey was arrested yesterday from Chandrapura in Jhargram`s Bokaro district more than three years after the massacre at Netai in which CPI-M men allegedly fired upon the villagers from CPI-M leader Rathin Dandapat`s house and killed nine of them.
CID had produced Pandey before a Bokaro court yesterday and obtained a transit remand for him.
Pandey had been hiding in various Maoist dominated places of Jharkhand since the massacre took place in Netai village on January 7, 2011.
Five other accused in the case, all local CPI(M) leaders, were arrested from Hyderabad on April 30 and are in jail custody.
Of the total 20 accused in the case, two - Fullara Mandal and Chandi Karan, are still absconding.
The Calcutta High Court unsatisfied with the CID probe, had in February 2011 ordered a CBI inquiry into the massacre. The then Left Front government`s appeal against the order was turned down by the Supreme Court.