‘Grave law and order situation’: Bengal guv Jagdeep Dhankhar after meeting Amit Shah in Delhi
Dhankhar cited some incidents, such as the recent murder of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Manish Shukla in North 24 Parganas district. He said the crime took place even after he asked the director general of police to control political violence in the area.Updated: Oct 30, 2020, 01:10 IST
West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Thursday made serious allegations about the law and order situation in the state and the role of Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers after meeting Union home minister Amit Shah in Delhi.
“What discussion I had with the Union home minister is confidential and cannot be shared with the media. What I am telling you about West Bengal is my observation as the governor. The nation needs to know what is happening there,” Dhankhar said at a press conference at Banga Bhawan, which houses the office of the state’s resident commissioner in the capital.
Asked whether he recommended imposition of President’s rule in the state during his meeting with Shah, Dhankhar kept silent. “Governor Dhankhar was with the Union Home Minster for over an hour and state of affairs and affairs of state in West Bengal were traversed,” the governor tweeted in the afternoon.
“In my last communication to the chief minister I have said that we are in the penultimate state of constitutional collapse. It is time for us to survey the situation,” Dhankhar said during the press conference. “The state is sliding towards lawlessness. There is virtual anarchy,” he added.
“The political killings, targeted killings and violence are a cause of great concern. The greater challenge to democracy in the state is that the police and administration, those in the premier services, the IAS and IPS, are politicised. Some of them are working as full-time political workers, as political foot soldiers, totally abandoning their roles. I have appealed to them that this is unconstitutional, illegal, violation of conduct. You cannot do this. This shall not be overlooked,” said Dhankhar.
“Through my friends in the media I wish to appeal to them that in the name of rule of law, in the name of the Constitution, it is high time they started acting as public servants. Don’t act as political workers,” Dhankhar said.
He said West Bengal has all the elements of a police state. “This does not work for democracy. The chairman of the human rights commission, who is a retired chief justice of the high court, has said the commission is on ventilator,” he said.
Dhankhar cited some incidents, such as the recent murder of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Manish Shukla in North 24 Parganas district. He said the crime took place even after he asked the director general of police to control political violence in the area.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) reacted by saying that Dhankhar has acted irresponsibly.
“I am stunned. He can always meet the Union home minister. But what he discussed with the minister is confidential. He has acted irresponsibly. The allegations he made are baseless. Law and order situation in Bengal is quite good. There have been some stray incidents of violence. We have not witnessed genocides. By bringing allegations against IAS and IPS officers he has maligned the image of the all-India services,” said TMC Lok Sabha member and party spokesperson Saugata Roy.
State education minister Partha Chatterjee said, “The governor himself is politicized. He is maligning the state government. Everybody knows he is a spokesperson of the BJP.”
Bengal BJP leaders claimed that the governor raised pertinent issues.
“Five BJP workers have been killed during the ongoing festive season. There is enough ground to declare President’s rule in Bengal. This government has lost the right to rule,” said BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu.
The Congress criticized the TMC for not complaining to the President of India against Dhankhar. “Why has the TM not gone to the President till now? Why don’t their leaders speak against him in Parliament?” said Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, state Congress president.
“We feel that the post of the governor is redundant. No governor should play a political role,” said CPI (M) legislator Sujan Chakraborty, leader of the Left parties in the state assembly.
At the press conference in Delhi, Dhankhar said, “This is the minimum I can do to vindicate the oath of office I have taken. I am not a stakeholder in politics. Who gets elected is not my concern but how the election takes place is my concern…”
Dhankhar will return to Bengal on Friday and spend the entire month of November at the Raj Bhawan built by the British in Darjeeling. Although many governors have spent their vacations in the hill town, Dhankhar said his office will be fully operational and he will interact with people in north Bengal to know their problems.