After the NHRC tore into the state machinery for the “retributive violence” by Trinamool Congress supporters after the West Bengal polls, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has started crying foul. She has accused the statutory body of leaking its final report on the post-poll violence to the media before submitting it in court.
Accusing the statutory body of pursuing ‘political vendetta’ of the BJP, she slammed NHRC for disrespecting the court. “Instead of submitting (NHRC) report in the court, they’ve leaked it. They should respect the court. If it is not a political vendetta, how can they leak the report? They are maligning people of Bengal,” said Mamata Banerjee as soon as reports emerged on the scathing observations made by the statutory public body in its final report on the post-poll violence in the state.
Interestingly, NHRC had already submitted its final report in the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday, only after which the report was shared with the media today. Therefore, Mamata Banerjee’s accusations don’t make any sense as she is making false and baseless allegations against the NHRC.
Cleary deflecting the truth, Mamata Banerjee added: “PM Modi knows very well that there is no rule of law in UP. How many commissions has he sent there? So many incidents, from Hathras to Unnao, have taken place. Even journalists are not spared. They give a bad name to Bengal. Maximum violence was pre-poll”.
Earlier in the day when the media had started to reveal the content of the NHRC report, CM Mamata Banerjee had refused to comment on it, saying as the matter is sub-judice, she would not comment on it respecting the court. The TMC leaders had also rejected the report, saying no such report has been tabled. But after the NHRC report was widely reported by media, Mamata Banerjee changed her position, and chose to attack NHRC accusing them of leaking the report.
Mamata Banerjee asks Calcutta HC to stop NHRC from probing WB post-poll violence, HC rejects plea
It is pertinent to note here that after the Calcutta HC, on June 18, directed the chairperson of NHRC to form a panel to examine the cases of alleged human rights violation during post-poll violence, Mamata Banerjee government had requested the HC to recall the order. However, on June 21, Calcutta High Court rejected the Mamata Banerjee government’s plea, giving a go-ahead to NHRC to probe the post-poll violence in the state.
However, in response to the CM allegations, NHRC fact-finding team member Atif Rasheed said that Mamata Banerjee needs to answer how the leaked report is the same submitted to Calcutta High Court and how come she knows about our confidential report.
She needs to answer how the leaked report is the same submitted to Calcutta High Court and how come she knows about our confidential report: NHRC fact-finding team member Atif Rasheed on West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s allegations that the committee leaked its report pic.twitter.com/tDr08j10W5— ANI (@ANI) July 15, 2021
NHRC makes damning disclosures on spates of violence after the Assembly polls in West Bengal
Earlier in the day, OpIndia reported the details of the final report on the West Bengal post-poll violence which NHRC submitted in Calcutta High Court on Wednesday. In the report, the statutory public body made some damning disclosures regarding the spate of violence carried out with impunity by the TMC goons after Mamata Banerjee steered TMC to victory in the West Bengal assembly elections on May 2.
Castigating the state machinery for its appalling apathy towards the plight of victims, NHRC hinted at a dangerous politico-bureaucratic-criminal nexus in the state. It said that the spate of violence also attacked some pillars of democracy, including the rule of law, political pluralism and free, fair and secure polling.
NHRC was vexed that the victims were left on their own to protect themselves against the violation of their human and fundamental rights, including the right to life, liberty, dignified living and health.
It said that almost all the victims told the inquiry team that either the police did not respond to their phone calls or came and stood there like mute spectators while TMC goons went on a rampage from one place to the other. It said that the WB police were either negligent or under some sort of pressure not to take action against the goons belonging to the ruling party.
It is notable here that the NHRC has recommended a CBI and court monitored SIT probe of the post-poll violence cases, adding that the trial of the cases should happen outside Bengal.
Post-poll violence in Mamata Banerjee’s West Bengal
During post-poll violence, over two dozen BJP karyakartas were reportedly killed. While Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal turns a blind eye towards the post-poll violence and abuse, several victimised women have come up to narrate horrific details of grievous bodily harm and sexual violence meted out at them allegedly by TMC cadres.
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.
The Calcutta High Court had on July 2, ordered the Kolkata police to file an FIR against those TMC goons who were involved in sectarian and political violence in the state post the electoral victory of TMC. It said that the FIR should be filed based on National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) recommendations.