Deploy central forces before any loss of life or property is reported: Calcutta HC

The Calcutta High Court

The Calcutta High Court


The Calcutta High Court has directed West Bengal government to call for central forces if the need arises, before the situation goes out of control or before any loss of life or property takes place in the State.

The order comes in context of violence reported in various parts of the State due to controversial remarks directed at the Prophet Muhammad by now sacked former BJP spokespersons.  

“Having regard to the apprehension which have been expressed, we direct the State authorities to assess the ground situation in advance and take steps to call for the Central Forces in terms of earlier directions in case if the need so arises, before the situation goes out of control or before any loss of life or property takes place,” a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice R. Bharadwaj said in an order. 

The Division Bench also directed the State authorities to take all possible preventive steps to ensure that no such incident takes place and to take expeditious steps to collect the video footage of the violence.  Violence was reported in Howrah, Murshidabad and Nadia district. 

The Division Bench on June 13 had also expressed hope that State authorities will take all possible steps to make sure that no untoward incident takes place and peace is maintained.

During the proceedings in the Court, Advocate General S.N. Mookerjee had said that 218 people have been arrested in connection with the violence. The Advocate General had also told the Court that 99 arrests were made in places under the Howrah police commissionerate jurisdiction and 17 FIRs filed, while in Howrah rural area, 9 FIRs were filed and 38 people were apprehended.  

Protests against the offensive remarks began in the State on June 9 and continued till June 11, when thoroughfares were blocked, public property including shops and vehicles were attacked. At Bethuadahari in Nadia, protesters attacked a local train. Along with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee several Imams and religious bodies had appealed for peace in the State. 

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2022 1:59:57 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/deploy-central-forcesbefore-any-loss-of-life-or-propertyis-reported-calcutta-hc/article65533572.ece