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West Bengal post-poll violence: NHRC panel to receive representations from today

On June 18, the Calcutta High Court had ordered the NHRC to constitute a committee and visit those places where post-poll violence complaints were filed. It also pulled up the Bengal government for taking 'no concrete steps' against the riots.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: June 27, 2021 8:09:29 pm
Madhabi Sarkar, mother of Abhijit Sarkar the BJP worker who was killed after the polls, being taken to their house in Narkeldanga. (Express photo by Partha Paul)

A seven-member NHRC committee, constituted on the directions of the Calcutta High Court to look into alleged human rights violations amid post-poll violence in West Bengal, is to receive representations from complainants from Sunday, an official was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

The members of the committee are to meet the victims/complainants from 4 pm on Sunday and 10 am on Monday at the Staff Officer Mess of the CRPF at Salt Lake, the official said.

According to the official, the panel members and several other teams of the National Human Rights Commission “have been touring various places of West Bengal and enquiring into the veracity of these allegations.”

On June 18, the High Court had ordered the NHRC to constitute a committee and visit those places where post-poll violence complaints were registered, with the report to be filed by June 30.

Following this, on June 21, the West Bengal government filed an application seeking recall of the order. The government had claimed that it was not given adequate opportunity to place all facts on record, including the steps it took to address the violence.

The HC, however, dismissed the plea, stating that it had to involve the NHRC because there were allegations that the police was not acting on complaints. The five-judge bench, headed by acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal, observed that the June 18 order was passed after the state failed to inspire the court’s confidence.

Meanwhile, a delegation of the NHRC panel visited Jagatdal and Naihati areas in North 24 Parganas district on Friday.

The NHRC team is looking into the aspects of how many complaints have been lodged, what are the steps being taken by the local administration, and how many people were allegedly forced to flee their homes.

On Thursday, an NHRC team had visited Haroa area in North 24 Parganas district, while another team had visited Cooch Behar district in north Bengal.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has labelled claims of continued post-poll violence in the state “baseless” and a “gimmick” by the BJP. Banerjee said the only incidents of violence took place during the Assembly polls, when law and order was in the hands of the Election Commission.

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