Bengal governor Dhankhar gives ‘last warning’ to officials, CM Mamata on law and order
Dhankhar made the statement after meeting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and the brother of Madan Ghorai, a BJP worker, who died in hospital while in judicial custody on October 13.Updated: Oct 18, 2020, 23:53 IST
West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar said on Sunday night that law and order in the state had collapsed and he was giving his “last warning” to the government.
“I want to tell the chief minister to follow the Constitution. I am here to protect it. They are playing with fire. They (bureaucrats and police) cannot be political workers and shall not be allowed to be political workers. Those who are sleeping like Kumbhakarna have no idea that there is something called destiny,” Dhankhar said. “This is my last warning,” he added.
A mythical demon mentioned in the Ramayana, Kumbhakarna used to sleep for six months and wake up for 24 hours to eat.
Dhankhar made the statement after meeting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and the brother of Madan Ghorai, a BJP worker, who died in hospital while in judicial custody on October 13. Lok Sabha MP Locket Chatterjee took relatives of Ghorai to the Raj Bhawan at about 7 pm.
Swapan Ghorai, the brother of the deceased, fainted when he was standing with the others near the stairs leading to the entrance of the Raj Bhawan. Dhankhar was coming down the stairs when the incident happened. He talked to Ghorai after he recovered.
“Do not think that you can stop the governor by trolling him. This is the last warning. If rule of law is not established be ready to face the music,” said Dhankhar.
“Tearful Swapan Ghorai brother of custodial death @WBPolice victim Madan Ghorai pleaded for probe #CBI for justice. Delegation including MPs #LokSabha @me_locket @ArjunsinghWB said that this custodial death is political vendetta. There is lawlessness and anarchy @MamataOfficial,” Dhankhar tweeted after 8 pm.
Incidentally, Union home minister Amit Shah told a national television channel in an interview telecast on Saturday that law and order in the state has reached a dangerous level and Bengal BJP leaders must have enough reasons to demand President’s rule. Shah, however, said the Centre follows the law and the Constitution when he was asked whether the Centre would enforce Article 356 of the Constitution.
TMC Lok Sabha member and a party spokesperson, Saugata Roy said, “The governor is rude. He is acting like a BJP spokesperson. He is clearly crossing his limits. If someone has died in custody, then the court and the administration is there to look into it and take steps.”
“The governor is picking up isolated incidents to show that law and order is collapsing. That can only be said when there are mass killings and upheavals. Nothing of that nature is happening in Bengal. Amit Shah recently warned the governor of a state for his language. Shah should warn Dhankhar too,” Roy said.
Reacting to Shah’s comment, CPI (M) Politburo member Md Salim said, “This is a trick before the assembly elections. It has been proved that Trinamool Congress (TMC) is affiliated to the BJP. It is being offered a safe passage by Amit Shah. The Centre is dangling Article 356 like a carrot. We don’t want a safe passage.”
The Calcutta high court on Friday issued back- to-back orders on separate petitions moved by the BJP and the government in connection with the BJP worker’s death at SSKM hospital in Kolkata on October 13. The man was brought from East Midnapore district while he was in judicial custody. He was arrested on September 27 in connection with a criminal case.
After hearing a plea moved by the brother of the deceased, who demanded investigation into the custodial death, the single-judge bench of Rajasekhar Mantha on Friday afternoon ordered a second post mortem examination. The government told the court that the deceased, Madan Ghorai, fell ill in judicial custody in East Midnapore district and was taken to a local hospital and later shifted to SSKM Hospital.
The body was handed over to the family on Friday morning after post mortem examination. The BJP alleged that Ghorai died because he was tortured by the police.
Challenging the single-bench ruling, the state government moved the divisional bench of Justices Sanjib Banerjee and Arijit Banerjee in the evening. The division bench ordered a stay on the second post mortem examination till Monday and referred the case back to the single bench, saying the government should be given time to prepare its reply and in the meantime the body must be preserved.