NHRC panel submits report in HC on Bengal post-poll violence
The panel set up by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to look into allegations of post-poll violence in West Bengal submitted its preliminary report to the Calcutta high court on Wednesday, which talks about the numerous complaints of murder, rape and arson received during visits to north and south Bengal districts, people aware of the development said.
The document has cited the panel’s interaction with more than 100 families and referred to complaints about 41 murders and rape of 13 women, an official familiar with the contents of the initial report said on condition of anonymity.
A second official said a comprehensive report will be submitted to the high court by July 2.
NHRC officials refused to speak on the contents of the interim report.
The panel, led by NHRC member and former intelligence bureau chief Rajiv Jain, was set up by a five-judge bench of the high court on petitions alleging the state’s involvement in violence targeting Bharatiya Janata Party workers after Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress returned to power in the state election results declared on May 2.
Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee hasn’t reacted to news about the NHRC’s interim report. On Tuesday, however, she again dismissed the BJP charge. “One or two cases may be genuine but the rest are made up by the BJP. These are all fake allegations,” she told reporters.
At a hearing in the Supreme Court earlier this month, the state government said only 22 people had died in post-poll violence; 16 of them when the administration was still under the control of the Election Commission.
Bengal BJP vice-president Ritesh Tiwari said he was confident that the truth about the violence would soon be out. “The NHRC will find out the truth. A special investigation team must be formed to probe each and every case and role of the police and bureaucrats. They have to be held accountable,” Tiwari said.