NHRC submits report on Bengal post-poll violence, Court defers matter for July 2
- The committee was constituted on the orders of the high court to look into the complaints of the post-poll violence since May 2, the day the Assembly election results were declared
The seven-member panel of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), which was formed last week to look into the matter of post-poll violence in West Bengal, on Wednesday submitted a report on the issue to the five-judge bench of the Calcutta high court. However, the court has now deferred the matter for July 2.
The panel, led by former Intelligence Bureau chief, Rajiv Jain – who became an NHRC member on June 2 - was put together on orders of the court. The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) government had soon after filed a review petition to the court, seeking for the order’s recall, but it was eventually dismissed.
The committee was asked to “enquire into complaints of post-poll violence” in West Bengal, and also to recognise those who were prima facie accountable for the violence and the officers who maintained a “calculated silence”.
This development comes following the alleged attack on Atif Rasheed, vice-chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities and a member of the NHRC panel on Tuesday during his visit to south Kolkata’s Jadavpur area to look into complaints of post-poll violence.
The alleged incident occurred in Dompara region, with Rasheed claiming before a section of the media that he and his NHRC team members were attacked by goons.
The deputy commissioner of police (south suburban division), Rashid Munir Khan told HT that no complaint has been registered by either Rasheed or any other 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,” Khan said, adding that if Rasheed files a complaint, the police will certainly look into it.
A few days ago, the panel visited Kolkata and Sitalkuchi in north Bengal’s Cooch Behar district, police officials said. They met and recorded statements of the family of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker Abhijit Sarkar in Kolkata, who was allegedly strangled to death by a mob in the city’s Narkeldanga area on May 2, the day Assembly election results were announced, police officials added.
A second team of the NHRC visited Sitalkuchi to meet the family of a BJP worker, whose son was allegedly kidnapped and killed. Furthermore, the team also went to the home of Ananda Burman, a young BJP supporter shot dead on April 10.
Police officials had stated that the two NHRC teams – part of the seven-member committee - will be visiting several parts of north and south Bengal before submitting the report on June 30.