NHRC team meets family of BJP worker killed in Bengal poll violence
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) team, set up on the orders of the Calcutta high court to probe post-poll violence cases in West Bengal, visited Kolkata and Sitalkuchi in north Bengal’s Cooch Behar district on Friday, police officials said,
On June 21, the Calcutta high court’s five-judge bench headed by acting chief justice Rajesh Bindal dismissed a petition by the state government seeking recall of the June 18 order that asked the NHRC to probe allegations of human rights violation during alleged violence after the recent assembly polls.
The NHRC constituted a seven-member panel headed by commission’s member Rajiv Jain to probe incidents of violence that took place after the assembly polls. A part of the team reached north Bengal on Thursday. Another team reached Kolkata on Wednesday.
On Friday, the team in Kolkata recorded statements of the family of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker, Abhijit Sarkar, who was allegedly strangled to death by a mob in the Narkeldanga area Kolkata on May 2, the day the assembly poll results were declared, police officials said
The victim’s brother, Biswajit Sarkar, who is among the petitioners who earlier moved the Supreme Court in May praying for a probe into incidents of post-poll violence by a special investigation team, told the NHRC team that on May 2, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supporters attacked and vandalised their house as well as the local BJP office, located nearby. He said that his brother and their mother were assaulted and the attackers tied a cable television wire around Abhijit’s neck and dragged him along the road till he died, adding that the incident took place shortly after the local TMC candidate, Paresh Pal, was declared winner.
TMC leaders did not comment on the team’s visit to Narkeldanga saying the matter was sub-judice.
A second team of the NHRC that visited Sitalkuchi met the family of a BJP worker whose son was abducted and killed. The team also visited the home of Ananda Barman, a young party supporter shot dead on April 10.
One man was allegedly murdered while four others were shot dead by the central armed police forces, at the Sitalkuchi assembly segment during the fourth phase of polling on April 10. A special investigation team (SIT) of the CID is probing the CRPF firing incident.
The team that visited Narkeldanga in Kolkata, also went to Amdanga and Jagaddal in the adjacent North 24 Parganas district. They met three families, including that of a student killed at Jagaddal after the polls.
The NHRC team members did not talk to the media. Numerous other complaints have been received and the team would look into them, said one of the team members, requesting anonymity.
Police said two NHRC teams, which are part of a committee, will be touring parts of north and south Bengal over the next few days. The team has been asked to submit its report before the court by June 30, the next date of hearing.
The BJP has been mounting a relentless campaign against the Mamata Banerjee government, alleging that the BJP supporters are being targeted. The party has alleged that more than 30 people have been murdered and women have been raped and molested as well for supporting the saffron camp.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has earlier said all the violence took place when the Election Commission was in control of the police administration. After taking oath on May 5, she said 16 people died in post-poll violence and half of them were TMC workers.