Calcutta HC seeks report from West Bengal government on post-poll violence by May 10

The Calcutta High Court on Friday sought a report from the West Bengal government on the violence in the state following the Assembly election results by May 10, reported Bar and Bench.

A five-judge bench of Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justices IP Mukerji, Harish Tandon, Soumen Sen and Subrata Talukdar adjourned the matter after Advocate General Kishore Dutta, appearing for the state government, said he will file an affidavit specifying the areas where the violence has taken place and the steps taken to prevent it.

The High Court said it will consider whether to set up a special investigation team to investigate the incidents of violence after getting the report. “The Court be also apprised of the latest status of law and order situation in the state,” the order passed by the High Court said.

Incidents of violence were reported across the state after the Trinamool Congress secured a landslide victory in the state elections on Sunday, winning 213 constituencies in the 294-seat Assembly. According to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, 16 people have died during the post-election violence in the state.

The High Court’s order was passed on a plea moved by Anindya Sundar Das, a lawyer, who alleged that the life and liberty of the people of the state is in danger due to the alleged inaction by the police, reported Live Law.

“The present law and order situation in the State of West Bengal post assembly election results is quite alarming,” the plea said. “Amidst Covid-19, this kind of heinous activities by different political parties has become a nightmare for the people.”

The plea claimed that TMC activists attacked the supporters of the opposition parties and ransacked and looted their properties. It further claimed that many innocent persons were assaulted on the assessment of local TMC leaders that they voted for the opposition parties.

“In fact, after general elections, some sorts of violence usually occur in West Bengal, and administration takes [an] active part to prevent the said violence, but now the sorrow state of affair is that the hooligans of the locale in the name of the religion attacked the supporters of the opposition party who by birth belong to another religion,” the plea claimed.

Based on these claims, the petitioner sought the formation of a Special Investigation Team to look into the incidents of violence. Das also sought the deployment of central forces in disturbed areas, and that families of killed be given adequate compensation.

Banerjee has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the families who died in the violence.

On Thursday, the Union home ministry had formed a four-member team to inquire into the matter. This came after the ministry on Wednesday wrote for the second time in three days to the West Bengal government, seeking a report on the incidents.

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