15000 cases of post-poll violence in West Bengal, 7000 women molested: Fact-finding team report

According to Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy, the report of the civil society group stated that the magnitude and reach of the post-poll violence touched many villages and towns.

Published: 29th June 2021 05:47 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th June 2021 06:58 PM   |  A+A-

Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy

Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy. (File Photo)


NEW DELHI: The Centre on Tuesday promised to take action on the report of a fact-finding team which claimed that there were 15,000 incidents of post-poll violence in West Bengal in which 25 people were killed and 7,000 women were molested.

According to Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy, the report of the civil society group -- Call for Justice -- headed by former Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court Justice (Retd) Permod Kohli stated that the magnitude and reach of the post-poll violence touched many villages and towns all across West Bengal simultaneously beginning the night of May 2 when the results of the assembly elections were declared. "This is a clear indication that most of the incidents are not sporadic but premeditated, organised and conspiratorial," the report stated.

The five-member team included two retired IAS and one IPS officers. "The Home Ministry will study the report and will try to implement its recommendations," Reddy told reporters after the group submitted it to him.

The report was prepared after the five-member team visited West Bengal and met a cross section of people there. Citing the report, Reddy said 16 districts of the state were affected by the post-poll violence. "The report said that due to the post-poll violence, many people have left their homes in West Bengal and had taken shelter in Assam, Jharkhand and Odisha," he said.

According to the report, some of the hardened criminals, mafia dons and criminal gangs who were already in police records allegedly "led and carried the deadly attacks unhindered, (which) reveals that there is clear political patronage even before the elections and same being used to silence the political rivals".

The report claimed the incidents of targeted destruction and vandalisation of properties, residential and commercial, have the sole purpose to deprive people of their livelihood and choke them economically. It claimed that the worst-affected people are those who depend on day-to-day work or business who are pushed into financial degradation and unmitigated misery.

"In most of the cases, victims were afraid to lodge a complaint with the police either due to fear of reprisal or due to the lack of faith in the police. Those victims who gathered courage and went to report, police either turned (them) away to settle the matter with the culprits or flatly refused to register the case. Many people left their homes and villages to safer destinations and took shelter in camps within and outside the state," the report said.

The fact-finding team suggested that the report should be placed before the Supreme Court.

In the light of overwhelming, ample, substantial and convincing evidence, the Supreme Court may consider constituting a special investigation team (SIT) immediately and monitor its work either through a sitting judge or a retired judge of the Supreme Court for fair investigation and early justice, the team said.

They also suggested that the central government should initiate disciplinary proceedings on those delinquent officers, including all-India service officers, who failed to discharge their duties in protecting lives and destruction of properties.

ALSO WATCH | Demons and Genies: Yemen's mysterious 'Well of Hell'


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp