In a setback for the West Bengal government, the Calcutta High Court on Friday ordered the West Bengal police to register cases of all the victims of post-poll violence in the State.
The Court has also asked the State government to ensure proper medical assistance and ration to all post-poll violence victims.
Chief Secretary Harikrishna Dwivedi was also directed to compile all documents related to post-poll violence for future legal correspondence.
The Court observed, “From a perusal of the report prima facie stand taken by the petitioners is established that there had been post poll violence and the State was found on a wrong foot, where throughout it was on a denial mode. In violence, a number of persons were killed. Many suffered sexual violence and grievous injuries. Even minor girls were not spared. They have been brutally assaulted sexually.”
It further mentioned, “Properties of many of them were damaged and a number of them were forced to leave their houses and even migrate to neighbouring states. Till date the State has not been able to create an atmosphere that could build confidence of the sufferers to return back to their homes or carry on their occupation. The complaints of most of them were not recorded by the police or cross cases were forced against them.”
On July 1, the Supreme Court issued notices to the West Bengal government, the Centre and the Election Commission of India on a plea seeking SIT inquiry behind post-poll violence in West Bengal.
BJP MLA and Leader of Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari welcomed the verdict of the Calcutta High Court and announced that his party will continue to raise their voice against the post poll violence in the State.
Reacting to the Court’s order, national in-charge of BJP’s Information & Technology department and Co-in-charge West Bengal, Amit Malviya, tweeted, “There are several damaging observations made by the Calcutta High Court based on the interim report submitted by the NHRC. The most scathing and perhaps inhuman is the mention of sexual violence including those involving minor girls. CM Mamata Banerjee hasn’t said a word on it.”
Earlier, on June 21, the Calcutta High Court turned down the State Government’s request to recall or modify its directive where it has asked the NHRC to examine all cases of alleged human rights violations cases during post-poll violence in Bengal.
The petition requesting to recall or modify Court’s order was submitted by West Bengal Home Secretary B P Gopalika on June 20.
She requested the Calcutta High Court that the state government should be given a chance to inquire into nearly 3,423 allegations provided by the West Bengal Legal Services Authority (WBLSA) on June 10.
The State Home Department also stressed that the allegations of police ‘inaction’ against complaints needed to be verified.
However, the five judge bench headed by acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal - while rejecting the plea - mentioned that they have asked the NHRC to examine all the post poll violence because they felt that the State government has failed to convince the Court that they have seriously acted against the allegations.
The state government has assured the court it will provide necessary additional security to Suvendu Adhikari over and above the Z category security he receives from the Centre.
In a report filed by the DG security, West Bengal, the state has assured it will provide for additional security in terms of providing pilot cars, route alignments and security cover at public meetings.
Keeping its faith on that report, the court dismissed Suvendu’s earlier petition.