In a letter to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta submitted details of the post-poll violence in Tarakeshwar in the Hooghly district of West Bengal. The letter was addressed to Rajiv Jain of NHRC.
Swapan Dasgupta, who had contested the West Bengal polls from the Tarakeshwar constituency, informed the human rights body that the residents of the city have been subjected to continued atrocities by the ruling Trinamool Congress party. He emphasised that the reason for their persecution was their political affiliation to the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP).
Dasgupta pointed out, “The houses of BJP workers and supporters have been systematically identified, looted, and demolished. Several workers were brutally attacked while others threatened with dire consequences. Hundreds of people were rendered homeless and fled from Tarakeswar to save their lives. Some of these individuals are still unable to return home.”
He added that several businesses, belonging to BJP workers, were shut down forcibly and that the ruling dispensation demanded ‘protection money’ for allowing them to earn their livelihood. He highlighted a total of 9 specific cases, where Trinamool Congress goons resorted to violence and vandalism. Two of the undisclosed BJP workers were stopped and threatened from entering their homes. The chamber of a BJP worker, who is a doctor by profession, was captured and converted into a TMC club. A Muslim BJP worker was prevented from offering Namaz during Eid.
According to Swapan Dasgupta, the house of an area General Secretary was vandalised. A BJP worker, who is a car dealer by profession, had all his cars broken and damaged by TMC thugs. The Rajya Sabha MP said, “In this regard, I’m attaching a complaint earlier lodged with the Tarakeshwar Police Station on which no action has been initiated so far. The complaint contains a list of more than 260 victims of post-poll violence. It is neither complete nor exhaustive but should provide you with an adequate starting point for action.”
He further requested, “At the earliest convenience, I urge you to schedule a full committee visit to Tarakeshwar, to assess and sanction relief to the deprived. In terms of reference, the Committee should identify persons, prima-facie, responsible for crime and the officers who maintained calculated silence on the issue. Further, those who fled in fear of retributive violence ought to be able to return to their homes and places of business opened.” Swapan Dasgupta added that he will be willing to co-operate and urged NHRC to act on the matter with utmost urgency.
Post poll violence in West Bengal
During post-poll violence, over two dozen BJP karyakartas were reportedly killed. In a report submitted by the Group of Intellectuals and Academicians (GIA), it was mentioned that those who suffered the wrath of TMC workers after winning the elections were from marginal sections of Hindu society who had voted for BJP.
According to the reports, women were raped, houses were ransacked, shops were looted, and several Hindu families migrated to neighbouring states to save themselves from the goons of TMC. Multiple women, in their testimonies to the Supreme Court, have revealed the brutal rapes, gang rapes and sexual assault as well as other atrocities unleashed upon them because of their support to the BJP.