Earlier this month, the leader of opposition in West Bengal – Suvendu Adhikari from the BJP had claimed over 1 lakh Bengali Hindus had fled the state and were internally displaced due to the massive post-poll violence which was perpetrated by goons of the Mamata Banerjee’s TMC party for over a week after the results were declared on May 2. The massive violence, loot, arson, and rape of mainly BJP workers and supporters shook the conscience of the nation. Subsequently, the Supreme Court was approached by individuals and groups to take cognizance of the violence and ensure justice for victims of TMC’s hooliganism.
As a result of a plea filed through Advocate-on-Record Shruti Agarwal, the Supreme Court on Tuesday sought response from the Mamata-run West Bengal government and police on the post-poll violence in the state that reportedly resulted in a mass exodus of lakhs of people, including women and children. The Supreme Court has given up to June 7 to the state government and police to file counter-affidavits, explaining the allegations of inaction by state authorities in curbing the violence.
Effectively, the Supreme Court has taken the very first steps of asking the Mamata Banerjee-led government of West Bengal as to how lakhs of people were displaced after the TMC’s victory earlier this month and resultant mass violence against opposition workers and supporters in the state. In the plea, Shruti Agarwal accused the police of shielding the perpetrators alleged to be workers of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) party and threatening the victims to withdraw their complaints.
The plea also seeks relief for internally displaced individuals and families affected due to post-poll violence by setting up camps, making provisions for food, medicines, pandemic resources, etc. According to the data gathered by the petitioners, as per the Hindustan Times, people from Cooochbehar, Kamakhyaguri, Tufanganj, Alpiurdaur, Falimari, Rampur villages in Bengal took shelter at refugee camps in Rangapali and Srirampur in Assam.
The petition has also demanded a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the incidents of political violence and targeted killings in the state, apart from probing the role and complicity of the state machinery and government in the mass violence.
Mamata Banerjee’s government is in for a big ride as the Supreme Court involves itself in enquiring about the recent post-poll violence in West Bengal. Meanwhile, while hearing the CBI’s petition in the Narada scam, the Supreme Court has clearly instructed the central agency that it is free to take action against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, her law minister or anyone who attempted to subvert the rule of law.