Charges have been pressed against 90 people, including Rangpur Sugar Mills officials, for their involvement in the attack on a Santal village in Gaibandha’s Gobindaganj in 2016.
Assistant Police Super Abdul Hai Sarkar of Police Bureau of Investigation, who is investigating the case, submitted the charge sheet to the court of Senior Justice Hakim Partha Bhadra on Sunday.
Abdul Hai said 25 persons had been arrested so far in this connection and an accused had confessed his involvement in the incident.
Some tin and goods looted from the Santal village have also been recovered by the police.
Police sources said former MP Abul Kalam Azad, the prime accused in the case, had been dropped from the charge sheet.
Among others, Union Parishad Chairman Sakil Ahmed Bulbul has been charged in the case.
In 1962, 1,840 acre of land possessed by local Santal and Banglaees was acquired to set up Rangpur Sugar Mills at Gobindaganj’s Bagda area.
As per the agreement, the lands were meant for sugarcane cultivation. Otherwise, the lands would be returned to the local owners with proper compensation.
However, after the sugar mill was shut down in 2004, the lands were leased to local influential people who started cultivating other crops such as rice, wheat, mustard, maize and tobacco.
When the Santals came to learn about the violation of the agreement, they reportedly built houses there.
When the affected locals started protesting, a false case was filed against them.
On November 6, 2016, the Santals alleged that the police, local administration, local influential people and mill staff attacked to evict them.
As the Santals clashed with them, at least 30 persons got injured – nine policemen were hurt by arrows and four Santals were shot. Later three Santals died.
Swapan Murmu on behalf of the Santals filed a case against 600 anonymous people on November 16, 2016.
Later, on November 26, Thomas Hembrom filed another case against some 600 people, naming 33 of them, including Shapmara Union Parishad Chairman Bulbul Ahmed.