The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday submitted a 50-page report on alleged post-poll violence in West Bengal before a five-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court and recommended a CBI probe into it.
Hitting out at Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, the NHRC observed that West Bengal has ‘law of the ruler’, and not ‘rule of law’.
While recommending a CBI probe in all the post-poll violence cases in Bengal, NHRC has urged the Court that the trial should be outside the jurisdiction of West Bengal. The NHRC also mentioned that Bengal police were not co-operative and they found them biased while tackling the situation.
“The spatio-temporal expanse of violent incidents in West Bengal reflects appalling apathy of the State government towards the plight of victims,” the NHRC report reads.
It further reads, “Violence was retributive. It was in retaliation to those who dared to vote or support the major opposition party. Victims were helpless and hopeless due to the torture and trauma. To add to the indignity were reports of instances where heads were tonsured or public apologies were made for having ‘erred’ in supporting the major opposition party.”
Responding to the NHRC report, Mamata Banerjee said, “NHRC leaked the report instead of submitting it first before the High Court. I respect the court. It is unfortunate. The NHRC should respect the court. If it is not a political vendetta, how can they leak the report? They are maligning the people of Bengal and it’s very disheartening.”
In its report, NHRC also submitted a list of ‘notorious criminals/goons’ (name consists of TMC MLAs and District TMC workers) and urged the court to take adequate action against them.
Earlier on June 21, the Calcutta High Court turned down its request to recall or modify its directive where it has asked the NHRC to examine all cases of alleged human rights violation cases during the post-poll violence in the State.
The petition requesting to recall or modify court’s order was submitted by West Bengal Home Secretary B P Gopalika on June 20.
She requested the Calcutta High Court that the State government should be given a chance to inquire into nearly 3,423 allegations provided by the West Bengal Legal Services Authority (WBLSA) on June 10.
The State Home Department also stressed that the allegations of police ‘inaction’ against complaints needed to be verified.
The bench had passed the order (asking NHRC to examine all the post poll violence) based on the note of the Member Secretary of West Bengal State Legal Services Authority (WBSLSA) which said that 3,243 persons were reportedly affected (in post-poll violence) till noon of June 10, 2021.
The Bench has directed the NHRC’s Chairperson to constitute a committee while including one member each from the State Legal Service Authority and State Human Rights Commission to examine the matter.
Recently, the West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar met the Chairperson of the NHRC, Arun Mishra reportedly ‘to address post-poll violence’ in the State.
Then, both Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Left Front condemned the move and claimed it as an ‘unprecedented act’ by any constitutional head of the State.