Updated: May 25, 2021 6:07:25 am
A group of former judges, bureaucrats, police officers and diplomats have written to President Ram Nath Kovind asking him to take note of alleged targeted political killings in the wake of the election results in West Bengal.
The memorandum, signed by 146 people that include former Chief Justices, DGPs and Ambassadors, including BC Patel, former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court and Kshitij Vyas, former Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court, said that the “targeted killings” highlight the need for “every right-thinking citizen to observe nonviolence at all costs and respect a democratic process which inherently rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation”.
The memorandum states that “media reports largely substantiated by eye witness accounts”, “mention murders, rapes, attacks on persons and property, “including by anti-national elements, leading to forced migration of people to shelter homes”. “These reports show unabated attacks after the results of the West Bengal state elections and deficient and inappropriate response of the local administration and police. These unfortunate developments, if unchecked, could establish a trend which will undermine and ultimately destroy the deep rooted democratic traditions of India,” it states.
The signatories to the letter have called on Chief Minister Mamata Banejee to act in “accordance with the Constitutional mandate to maintain law and order, curb violence with an iron hand and ensure peace and tranquillity amongst all sections of its people”. It has also asked the Centre to keep a close eye on the situation on the basis of the reports of the Governor and “reinforce the State’s law and order machinery by inducting sufficient number of CAPF personnel wherever and whenever necessary for peace”.
The letter asks the President to ensure that “culprits be punished without exception”. “Firstly, by identifying the public servants who failed to take any action and abandoned their duty; secondly, by identifying the political provocateurs; thirdly, cases should be registered in respect of all offences in the wake of violence; and finally, effectively proceeding against the actual offenders to bring them to justice,” it states. Another demand raised is an SIT monitored by a retired Supreme Court Judge for a “fair investigation and speedy justice”. “Further, since West Bengal is a sensitive border state, we request that these cases should be handed over to NIA to deal with the anti-national onslaught on the culture and integrity of the country,” the letter states.
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