While post-poll violence has driven Bengali Hindus from their homes to seek shelter in the neighbouring state of Assam, CM Mamata Banerjee has simultaneously started coming after police officers who did not toe her line during the elections. Hours after assuming the charge, Mamata suspended Debashis Dhar, SP of Cooch Behar district where four people were killed in Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) firing during polling on April 10 in the Sitalkuchi constituency.
“The administration was not under my control for the last three months. It was under the control of the Election Commission. There is some inefficiency. We will take decisions regarding this soon,” said Mamata.
As reported previously by TFI, during the fourth phase of the elections a mob had attacked CISF in the Jorpatki area of the Mathabhanga block in the Sitalkuchi Legislative Assembly of Cooch Behar district.
However, Mamata tried to spin the narrative in her favour by pinning the blame on BJP, while calling out an imaginary CRPF Company that was not even present at the site.
“After killing so many people they (EC) are saying the firing was in self-defence. They should feel ashamed. This is a lie,” said Mamata whilst adding, “The CRPF opened fire on people standing in a queue to vote, killing 4 in Sitalkuchi. I have been apprehending that the forces would act in such a manner for long. As BJP knows it has lost the people’s mandate, they are conspiring to kill people.” She also alleged that the incident was part of a conspiracy hatched by the Union home minister Amit Shah.
However, Debashis Dhar had rejected any such claims made by Mamata and laid bare the truth. According to Debashis, the firing incident was a direct fallout of the rumour mongering and that villagers had tried to snatch the weapons of the stationed security personnel.
#ListenIn| SP Coochbehar Debashis Dhar IPS says that the incident of firing was a direct fallout of rumours. He further claims that villagers tried to snatch weapons from CISF personnel & enter the polling booth, in retaliation CISF personnel resorted to firing. pic.twitter.com/PXpm994QCL
— Pooja Mehta (@pooja_news) April 10, 2021
Moreover, top police officers who are believed to have pledged allegiances to Mamata have seemingly been reinstated to their old positions after the Election Commission (EC) had shuffled them across the state. DG Virendra, ADG (Law and Order) Jawed Shamim and DG Security Vivek Sahay were given their old positions back by Mamata in the rejig of the police apparatus across the state.
Reported by TFI, a purported audio clip of Mamata telling the TMC nominee of Sitalkuchi to hold rallies with bodies of the four persons killed in the CISF firing had been released by BJP’s IT Cell chief Amit Malviya at the time, claiming that the CM was trying to instigate riots by asking her party leaders to take out rallies with bodies.
“She is heard asking her party candidate to frame the case in such a way that both the superintendent of police (of Cooch Behar) and other central forces personnel can be framed. Is this expected from a chief minister? She is trying to instil a sense of fear just for minority votes,” Malviya had tweeted.
Siddique Ali Mia, the Zilla president of BJP’s minority cell in Cooch Behar had filed an FIR against Mamata for allegedly instigated voters to gherao central forces which in turn, led to the incident of firing in Sitalkuchi and the subsequent death of four persons. However, with Mamata allegedly ruling with impunity by transferring and suspending officers at her will, it seems improbable that the FIR will yield any result.