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Bengal violence | Supreme Court to examine plea accusing State, DGP of complicity with goons

Left wing activists protest against the State Government's alleged inaction towards post-poll violence in Kolkata. File photo   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to examine a petition accusing the West Bengal government and Director General of Police of complicity with goons who had spread “terror and fear” following the Assembly election.

A Vacation Bench of Justices Vineet Saran and B.R. Gavai scheduled the petition filed by five residents of West Bengal for hearing in the week commencing on June 7.

“Petitioners are aggrieved with the post-electoral violence in Bengal from May 2 causing bombing, murder, gang rape, outraging of modesty of women, arson, kidnapping, loot, vandalism and destruction of public property, which led to a widespread fear and terror in the minds of ordinary residents of the State, ultimately forcing them to leave their homes,” the petition, represented by senior advocate Pinky Anand, said.

The petition alleged that the Mamata Banerjee government and the police had “sponsored” the goons. The police had threatened people against filing complaints in cases in which cognisable offences were committed. The petitioners sought the constitution of a Special Investigation Team and setting up of a fast-track court to investigate and try the cases.

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The plea said the court should “protect the State from internal disturbance and ensure that the government in the State is carried on”. It asked the court to direct the Centre to “deploy Central protection forces, including Armed Forces, for the restoration of law and order in the State of West Bengal”.

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The court also made the National Human Rights Commission, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and the National Commission for Protection of Women and Child Rights parties in the case.

Ms. Anand said these Commissions had already taken cognisance of complaints filed by victims of crimes, human rights violations, targeted killings and post-poll political violence. She said the court should seek reports from these statutory bodies.

Exodus of people

The petition said the last few days, following the elections results, had seen an exodus from West Bengal.

“People are internally displaced and are forced to stay in shelter homes/camps in and outside West Bengal. The exodus of the people in West Bengal due to State-sponsored violence has posed serious humanitarian issues,” the petition said.

It also asked the top court to “provide immediate relief to the internally displaced persons affected by the post-poll violence by setting up camps and make provision for food, medicines, pandemic resources, and make appropriate medical facilities accessible to them in light of COVID pandemic”.

The petition has urged the court to direct the Centre to “constitute an Inquiry Commission to assess the scale and causes of the exodus as well as direct the State of West Bengal to provide long-term relief to the internally displaced persons”.


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Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 4:20:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bengal-post-poll-violence-sc-seeks-response-from-centre-state-on-plea-to-prevent-exodus/article34639956.ece

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