Member of NHRC panel probing Bengal post-poll violence alleges attack

Updated on Jun 30, 2021 06:54 AM IST
The alleged incident took place in Dompara area, dominated by crematorium workers, with Rasheed alleging before a section of the media that he and his team members were attacked by goons.
Rasheed is among the seven people in the NHRC panel, which includes a member of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission and a member of the West Bengal State Legal Services Authority.(Twitter)
Rasheed is among the seven people in the NHRC panel, which includes a member of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission and a member of the West Bengal State Legal Services Authority.(Twitter)
By, Hindustan Times, Kolkata

Atif Rasheed, vice-chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities and a member of the team constituted by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to look into the complaints of post-poll violence in West Bengal, on Tuesday alleged that he was attacked while visiting Jadavpur area in south suburban Kolkata.

The alleged incident took place in Dompara area, dominated by crematorium workers, with Rasheed alleging before a section of the media that he and his team members were attacked by goons.

Rashid Munir Khan, the deputy commissioner of police (south suburban division) told HT that no police complaint was lodged by Rasheed or any NHRC member.

“A police force was escorting the NHRC team. It gave me a report. At Dompara, some people shouted slogans at the NHRC team. Some of the agitators were apparently under the influence of alcohol... Rasheed did not lodge any police complaint. If he files one, we will certainly look into it,” Khan said.

Rasheed is among the seven people in the NHRC panel, which includes a member of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission and a member of the West Bengal State Legal Services Authority. The panel is led by Rajiv Jain, the former Intelligence Bureau chief who assumed charge as NHRC member on June 2. Other members include National Commission for Women member Rajulben L Desai, NHRC’s (director) investigation Santosh Mehra and DIG (investigation) Manzil Saini, West Bengal Human Rights Commission registrar Pradip Kumar Panja and West Bengal State Legal Services Authority member secretary Raju Mukherjee.

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The panel members have split themselves in two teams that are visiting north and south Bengal districts. They have already met members of more than 100 families. A camp was held in the eastern outskirts of Kolkata on Monday, where many people came to give their statements.

On June 21, the Calcutta high court’s five-judge bench headed by acting chief justice Rajesh Bindal dismissed a petition by the West Bengal government seeking recall of the June 18 order that asked the NHRC to probe allegations of human rights violation during alleged violence soon after the results of the recently concluded assembly polls were announced.

The high court asked the NHRC to submit its report by June 30, which is the next date of hearing of this case.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, including Leader of the opposition in the West Bengal assembly Suvendu Adhikari and Lok Sabha member Locket Chatterjee raised the allegation of attack on social media and demanded action.

Debabrata Majumdar, Trinamool Congress legislator from Jadavpur, said, “I heard local people protested because the NHRC team was accompanied by many outsiders. Nobody was attacked.”

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