The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) government submitted an affidavit at the Calcutta High Court to refute the report submitted to the court by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) over the post-poll violence in Wets Bengal, saying that the report "demonstrated bias" and had no power to suggest any probe.
In the 95-page report submitted to the HC, the state government said that the NHRC report "pertains to false allegations against the state administration including the police force in all police districts of the state of West Bengal".
In a report submitted to the court on 13 July and given to the West Bengal government on 15 July, the NHRC had called out the "appalling apathy" of the state government and slammed the alleged violence by supporters of the ruling TMC against supporters of the BJP.
Panel Members Associated With BJP: West Bengal
In its affidavit, the state government said that the NHRC had no power to recommend an SIT or a CBI probe into the incidents.
"I state that the recommendations/directions of the Committee regarding (i) investigation of offences relating to post poll violence by the CBI or SIT; (ii) or conduct of trial of these cases outside the State of West Bengal; are not measures that can be said to be steps taken to “ensure confidence of the people” and to “ensure that the people could peacefully live in their house and also carry on their occupation or business to earn their livelihood,'" Bhagawati Prasad Gopalika, West Bengal Home Secretary told the court on behalf of the government.
The state further alleged that several members of the NHRC committee had a close association with the BJP.
Accusing the NHRC of bias, the state government said that the committee “deliberately constituted to spearhead a witch hunt against the entire state machinery in West Bengal.”
The government also said that the NHRC report may “severely damage and prejudicially affect the reputation of innumerable members of the police force and members of the administrative service”.
What the NHRC Report Said
In its report, the NHRC said that the post-poll violence "resulted in disruption of life and livelihood of thousands of people and their economic strangulation" and that the situation in the state is a manifestation of the "Law of Ruler", instead of "Rule of Law".
The report also held the local police to be "grossly derelict, if not complicit, in this violence".
"There is palpalable fear among victims against the police and goons of the ruling party. Many displaced persons have not yet been able to return to their homes and resume their normal life and livelihood. There have been several sexual offences but victims are scared to speak out. Loss of faith in state administration among victims is very evident," the NHRC had said in its report.
The NHRC had suggested that grievous offences, like rape and murder, be investigated by the CBI and tried in courts outside the state. It also recommended that the investigations of other matters should be conducted by a court-monitored SIT.
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