West Bengal violence: we’re deeply concerned, says Centre

The Union Home Ministry has sought a report from the West Bengal government on growing incidents of political violence in the State and issued an advisory that the “unabated violence” over the years was a matter of deep concern.

The Ministry, which issued a similar advisory a week ago on the deteriorating law and order situation, said the political violence in the State had claimed the lives of 160 persons in the past four years.

The ruling Trinamool in the State has been engaged in a tense political stand-off with the Centre and the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), which has emerged as its principal political rival in West Bengal.


‘On the rise’

The Ministry said it had received reports that the number of incidents of political violence in West Bengal had increased from 509 in 2016 to 1,035 in 2018. “As many as 773 incidents have already occurred in 2019 till date,” an official said on condition of anonymity.

“Correspondingly, the death toll rose from 36 in 2016 to 96 in 2018, while 26 deaths have already taken place in 2019 till date,” the official added.

In its advisory, the Ministry said, “... the continued trend of political violence from 2016 through 2019, as evident from the above figures, is indicative of the failure on the part of the law enforcement machinery of the State to maintain the rule of law and to inspire a sense of security among the people. Government of India is seriously concerned over the prevalent situation in West Bengal.”

The methodology for collating the report on political violence in the State was, however, not shared by the Ministry. It was also not known if such data was maintained for other States.

“It is requested that a report may be sent to this Ministry on the steps taken by the State government and its law enforcement machinery to investigate the incidents of violence to bring the culprits to book as also the measures taken to contain and curb violence,” the Ministry added in the advisory.

In another advisory on the strike called by doctors, it said, “This Ministry is in receipt of a number of representations from doctors, health care professionals and medical associations from different parts of country for their safety and security in view of the ongoing strike by doctors in West Bengal. It is requested that a detailed report be sent urgently on the representations and ongoing strike.”

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2020 9:39:00 PM |

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