KOLKATA: The situation in West Bengal is a manifestation of "Law of Ruler", instead of "Rule of Law", observed the final report of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on the issue of post-poll violence in the state.
The report, submitted before the five-judge bench of Kolkata High Court two days ago, also recommended that grievous offenses such as murder and rape should be handed over to the CBI and these cases should be tried outside the state.
The inquiry committee constituted by the NHRC also observed the spate of violence shows a pernicious "politico-bureaucratic-criminal nexus" which is a deadly combination and has larger national security implications as Bengal is a border state.
The Commission also found the violence was neither sporadic nor random and said specific persons were targeted. It also mentioned a list of notorious criminals which include Forest Minister Jyotipriya Mullick and other Trinamool Congress functionaries.
Lambasting the Centre, CM Mamata Banerjee described the NHRC’s report as a "distorted" one and it was a "conspiracy against the state".
Responding to a slew of petitions on the issue of alleged post-poll violence, the Kolkata High Court on July 2 directed the NHRC to constitute a committee and submit a report.
"The situation in the State of West Bengal is a manifestation of "Law of Ruler", instead of "Rule of Law". The spatiotemporal expanse of violent incidents with little efforts of state machinery to prevent or control or rectify the same is actually a large picture of organised violence by supporters of the ruling party in retribution against persons who dared to support the other major party which lost the recent Assembly elections. While some organs or personnel of the state government remained mute spectators, some others were apparently complicit," the report mentioned.
The committee made 311 spot inquiries and found in 60% of cases, FIRs were not registered and police resorted to dilution in 27% of cases by using a milder section of law.
Citing the data received from the DGP, the report said 1,934 complaints were lodged with police stations and 1,168 of which were treated as FIRs. "Out of 9,304 accused cited in the FIRs, only 1,354 (14%) have been arrested and out of these, 1086 (80%) are already out on bail. Thus, overall speaking, less than 3% of the accused are in jail, while 97% are out in the open, making a mockery of the whole system," the report said.
The NHRC committee further said in its report that the spate of violence shows a pernicious politico-bureaucratic-criminal nexus. "Criminals indulged in violence against political rivals while the bureaucratic edifice was complicit in various degrees. This is a deadly combination that has sinister implications for any state and will ultimately corrode the entire edifice. The presence of this nexus in a border state also has larger national security implications," the report mentioned.
CM Mamata Banerjee labelled the report as a reflection of the Centre’ "political vendetta" to malign the image of Bengal. "There is no rule of law in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh. How many commissions visited UP? Is everything forgiven in UP only because it is ruled by the BJP," she asked.