Saturday 31 July 2021
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Bengal house of horror: More post-poll violence victims speak up

But the state government had said it did not get a chance to pursue the 3,423 complaints before the West Bengal Legal Services Authority

More victims of post-poll violence in West Bengal are making the alleged atrocities they had to endure at the hands of workers of the Trinamool Congress public.

The development follows the Calcutta High Court‘s refusal to recall its 18 June order that directed the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to constitute a committee to examine all cases of alleged human rights violation during post-poll violence.

Mamuni Saha and her husband Rabi Saha alleged they were not able to return to their house in Bhawanipore of after their poultry shop was ransacked by Trinamool Congress workers on 2 May, the day assembly election were declared.

Speaking to reporters, the couple alleged they were being forced to join AITC, but secretly joined BJP three years ago. However, nearly one year ago, AITC workers in the area found out and threatened the couple. At this, Ravi left home and did not return.

“I have not been able to return home. When I went to the Bhawanipore police station to file a complaint, the police did not take the complaint saying that their hands are tied,” said Rabi Saha.

Mamuni Saha, however, continued to live in the area but was threatened on Holi in March when she refused to give 10 kg to AITC workers. “They have been troubling us since then. They ransacked the shop on 2 May and now there is a barricade in front of the shop. I am unable to return home,” she said.

The Sahas now live in the Tollygunge area, far away from their home in Bhawanipore.

‘They beat me up, threatened to kill muy husband’

Miles away in Khandaghosh in Purba Bardhaman district, Rakhi Roy, who returned to her house under police security three days ago, alleged she was again being threatened by AITC workers.

Roy claimed that AITC workers allegedly barged into her house on 20 June night, beat her up and tore her clothes and warned her to leave, or else “it would be the last day of her life”. On 21 June morning, the ruling party’s workers came back and thrashed her again, not sparing her children either.

“They beat me up and touched me inappropriately. They beat me so badly, it has left a mark on my back,” said Roy. She further alleged that the goons told her to leave the house by Monday evening, or her husband would be killed.

While hearing the state government’s appeal on 21 June, the five-judge bench of High court questioned why 541 complaints were filed before the National Human Rights Commission and not a single complaint was filed before the State Human Rights Commission.

The court also observed there were complaints received by the State Legal Services Authority(SLSA) and hence found no merit in the arguments put forward by the state government to recall its 18 June order directing the NHRC to probe the incidents of violence in West Bengal.

The state government had said it did not get an opportunity to pursue the 3,423 complaints before the West Bengal Legal Services Authority on 10 June.

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