Following the Calcutta High Court’s order, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has begun probing the West Bengal post-poll violence and so far registered nine cases in the matter, reports news agency ANI. Reports suggest that CBI is in the process of registering more such cases.
After Calcutta High Court’s order to investigate violence in West Bengal, the CBI has so far registered nine cases and began a probe. The CBI team also visited the spots where violence occurred in the state: CBI sources— ANI (@ANI) August 26, 2021
All four special teams of the central investigating agency entrusted with examining the incidents of violent crimes, perpetrated by TMC goons in West Bengal in the backdrop of a sweeping victory for the ruling Trinamool Congress, have relocated from Kolkata to the places where the incidents of violence took place.
High Court hands over the West Bengal post-poll violence case to the CBI
The CBI has taken over the investigations on the orders of a five-judge panel of the Calcutta High Court, which on August 19, tasked the agency with a court-monitored probe into the innumerable murder and rape instances reported during West Bengal’s post-poll rioting which occurred in the aftermath of West Bengal Assembly elections in the month of May 2021.
The court had observed that the fact-finding report of the NHRC committee had exposed the police inaction, and hence the matter required independent investigation.
Pointing out at the state police apathy, working at the behest of WB CM Mamata Banerjee, the High Court noted that the registration of cases and investigation against the workers of the ruling TMC was slow, and in a number of cases, FIRs were registered only after the committee pointed out those. The court also noted that in over 60% of the cases, no FIR was filed by the police.
High Court constitutes SIT to look into other criminal cases related to post-poll violence
The high court also directed the state government to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the cases related to violence.
The SIT will be comprised of three IPS officers, Suman Bala Sahoo, Soumen Mitra and Ranbir Kumar, reported Bar and Bench. A report by Live Law states that the court has also directed the West Bengal state government to immediately process the compensation for the victims of the post-poll violence. The court also rejected state government allegations of bias against the NHRC.
The CBI and the SIT have to submit their reports within six weeks.
The bench had previously ordered the chairman of the National Human Rights Commission to form an inquiry group to look into allegations of human rights abuses during the post-election violence. The panel found in its report that the state’s current status is a manifestation of “Law of the Ruler” rather than “Rule of Law.” It goes on to say that victims’ lack of trust in the government is palpable. The statutory body added that a list of 57 complaints related to women was received from the National Women Commission.
Despite the victims’ testimonies about the savagery committed on them by the TMC goons, the Mamata Banerjee government had resisted the NHRC findings and questioned its neutrality.