Making sharp observations about the post-poll violence in West Bengal in May, a National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) panel said that the situation in the state was a manifestation of “law of ruler” instead of “rule of law”. The observations were part of a report submitted to the Calcutta High Court on 13 July.
In its report, the NHRC has recommended a CBI probe into the “grievous offences like murder and rape” that allegedly took place during the post-poll violence and said the trial should be held outside the state.
The NHRC report strongly criticised the Mamata Banerjee-led state government for allegedly failing to stem the political violence that erupted after the Trinamool Congress’s victory in the assembly elections.
“The spatiotemporal expanse of violent incidents in Bengal reflects appalling apathy of the state government towards the plight of victims,” the panel said in its report. It further observed the incidents represent a larger picture of organised violence by supporters of the ruling party in retribution against people who dared to support the other major party which lost the elections in the state.
The panel was referring to the BJP, which was the main challenger to the TMC in the run-up to the state election.
The report observed that some organs or personnel of the state government remained mute spectators while others were apparently “complicit” in most of the violent incidents.
The committee, constituted by the NHRC on the order of the high court to probe alleged human rights violations during post-poll violence, submitted five sets of reports in separate sealed covers and was taken on record by the court.
‘Political vendetta’: Mamata Banerjee hits out at NHRC for ‘leaking’ report
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday lashed out at the National Human Rights Commission after its committee, probing alleged incidents of post-poll violence in the state, accused the state government of showing “appalling apathy” towards the victims of the post-poll violence.
Banerjee accused the committee of leaking its probe report to media and called the move a “political vendetta.” “The NHRC should have respected the court. Instead of leaking the findings to the media, it should have first submitted the same to the court,” she said.
The chief minister stated that her government will file a response when the court asks them to. She went on to accuse Prime Minister Narendra Modi of ‘maligning’ the state, “using impartial agencies to settle political scores.” “What would you call it other than political vendetta of the BJP? It is yet to digest defeat (in the assembly polls) and that is why the party is resorting to such tricks,” Banerjee said in a press conference in Kolkata Wednesday.
The Trinamool Congress head hit out also at the situation of law and order in Uttar Pradesh. “Prime Minister Modi knows very well that there is no rule of law in UP. How many human rights commission has he sent there? … So many incidents, from Hathras to Unnao, have taken place,” she said. She maintained that the central agency is maligning Bengal and said that the violence took place pre-poll when law-and-order was under the Election Commission.
She accused the union government also of being unfair in its distribution of the Covid vaccines. “We need 14 crore vaccine doses but we are not receiving vaccines adequately. We have received only 2.12 crore vaccines. We have bought 18 lakh vaccines ourselves. Some states are receiving more vaccines, some are not receiving at all,” she was quoted as saying by ANI.
According to PTI, she will seek an appointment with the Prime Minister and President in her visit to Delhi next week.