The West Bengal government was provided time till Saturday, July 31, by the Calcutta high court earlier this week to file supplementary affidavits in response to the report by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on the alleged post-poll violence in the state. The Mamata Banerjee-led government in West Bengal sought more time to respond to the allegations with the affidavits, and although the move was questioned by the petitioner, Priyanka Tiberwal, the high court eventually granted time till Saturday.
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The five-judge bench headed by acting chief justice Rajesh Jindal told the state government that no further extension of time would be provided.
Post-poll violence reportedly broke out in West Bengal following the announcement of the assembly election results on May 2. It was alleged that the Trinamool Congress (TMC), which won with an overwhelming majority in the poll results, turned a blind eye when its supporters clashed with the opposing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers at various places in the state.
After several BJP leaders raised alarm over a “complete breakdown” of law and order, the Union ministry of home affairs deputed a four-member team to visit the areas reported to have witnessed post-poll violence. The Calcutta high court eventually took cognizance of the matter and asked the NHRC to examine all the cases of alleged violence.
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The seven-member committee submitted its final report on July 13, slamming the Trinamool Congress-led state government, while recommending a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe. The state government on Monday filed an affidavit, refuting the charges while alleging that the report was politically motivated.
The NHRC also informed the court that victims of the West Bengal post-poll violence are being threatened to withdraw their complaints. As many as 16 such cases have been reported, the commission said, adding that the matter has been forwarded to the director-general of police (DGP).
Meanwhile, at least two TMC legislators, Jyotipriyo Mullick and Partha Bhowmik, who were branded as “notorious criminals and goons” in the NHRC report, have moved the Calcutta high court, challenging the report.