SC to hear plea seeking SIT probe into alleged post-poll violence in West Bengal

While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused the Trinamool Congress (TMC) of "targeted killings", the Mamata Banerjee-led party said the BJP was spreading fake news on social media.
In the West Bengal Assembly polls, the TMC bagged 213 seats against the BJP’s 77.(File photo)
In the West Bengal Assembly polls, the TMC bagged 213 seats against the BJP’s 77.(File photo)
Updated on May 25, 2021 11:28 AM IST
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Written by Prashasti Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Supreme Court will hear on Tuesday petitions seeking the constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the alleged post-poll violence that took place in West Bengal. The top court will also look into accusations that the state government was complicit and overlooked these incidents, news agency ANI reported.

While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused the Trinamool Congress (TMC) of "targeted killings", the Mamata Banerjee-led party said the BJP was spreading fake news on social media.

Also Read: No post-poll violence after May 8, Bengal govt tells HC

The BJP shared on social media images of bodies of party workers in North 24 Parganas district’s Amdanga assembly constituency, Kotulpur in Bankura district and Mothabari area of Malda district and accused the TMC of killing them. Police probe into the incidents resulted in the conclusion that these deaths were either by suicide or drowning accidentally.  

“Spreading fake news, morphed photographs and edited videos is an old practice of the BJP. Even when a debt-ridden farmer commits suicide or a man takes his own life after a failed affair, the BJP sees an opportunity to create a sensation,” TMC MLA and party spokesperson Tapas Roy had said. 

Following a judgement of the Calcutta high court that said the state had taken steps to contain violence, Bengal BJP’s chief spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said, “Having highest respect for the court, I would like to say that its observation is surprising. The court should send its representatives to those areas where the TMC has unleashed terror. Women are being raped and molested. Shops and farms are being looted and ransacked so that our workers lose their source of income...Banerjee and her police are giving wrong information to the people to hide the truth.”

Also Read: In Bengal’s post-poll political violence, a battle of narratives

A two-judge vacation bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Vineet Saran and comprising Justice B R Gavai, will hear the petitions filed by Arun Mukherjee, Debjani Halder, Bhupen Halder, Prosanta Das and Paramita Dey.

These petitions, in addition to demanding that an SIT be formed to probe the incidents, also sought direction from the chief secretary, government of West Bengal and the Centre, to provide immediate relief to the internally displaced persons affected due to post-poll violence by setting up camps, making provision for food, medicines, pandemic resources, and making appropriate medical facilities accessible to them in light of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, ANI reported.

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Sunday, October 24, 2021