The Indic Collective Trust (ICT) has moved the Supreme Court through advocate Suvidutt Sundaram over the post-poll violence that has erupted in West Bengal. The ICT has sought directions for the deployment of central forces to restore law and order in the state.
The petition states, “Reports have emerged citing instances of gang rape and physical assault against women who support the opposing parties in the State. Thanks to the deliberate inaction of the State Government, miscreants have turned the State into a complete lawless zone, which demonstrates this was an organized and pre-meditated crime against a targeted group of people who exercised their political choice against the ruling party.”
“The State administration and the police authorities in the State have failed and/or neglected to clamp down on the unruly elements, thereby leading to institutionalized violence and destruction of the democratic fabric of the State,” it adds.
The Indic Collective petition also seeks directions for the constitution of a Special Investigative Team (SIT) to investigate the involvement of politicians in the current spate of post-poll violence that is underway. It also seeks directions for the immediate prosecution and arrest of those responsible for the spate of violence.
The petition also requests the Supreme Court to declare that the constitutional machinery in the state has broken down within the meaning of Article 356. President’s Rule is imposed on a state through Article 356 if the President is satisfied that the governance of the state cannot be carried according to the provisions of the Constitution.
The respondents in the matter are the Union of India through the Chief Secretary of MHA (Respondent No. 1), the state government (Respondent No. 2), the Governor of West Bengal (Respondent No. 3) and the Election Commission (Respondent No. 4).
Gaurav Bhatia of the BJP has also moved the Supreme Court seeking a CBI inquiry into the post-poll violence, LiveLaw has reported. Bhatia’s application also highlights “instances of rampant violence, murders and rapes that have been carried out by workers of TMC across the State of West Bengal”.
He has pleaded that directions be issued to the state government to “file a detailed status report qua the FIRs registered, arrests made and steps taken by it against the perpetrators of the crimes mentioned in the instant application”.
“As per media reports, this violence is seeking revenge against the citizenry of the State which has exercised its democratic right of voting for a party other than TMC. That the perpetrators of crime should be booked and punished in accordance with law are being protected by the ruling dispensation”, it states.
The application seeks to bring to notice the “brutal murders and commission of serious crimes like rape and molestation, blatant violence and the complete breakdown of the law and order machinery in the State of West Bengal before, during and after the recently concluded assembly elections in the State”.
Reports of widespread violence in West Bengal have surfaced in the wake of Mamata Banerjee’s victory in the assembly elections. The Ministry of Home Affairs has sought a report regarding the same and Prime Minister Modi has also called the Governor to express anguish over the matter.