Bengal post-poll violence: Nearly 600 academics call for SC-monitored SIT probe

By Express News Service
NEW DELHI:  Alleging large scale post-poll violence in West Bengal had displaced many people, around 600 academicians on Tuesday issued a joint letter, demanding a Supreme Court-monitored special investigation team (SIT) probe, besides the intervention of the National Human Rights Commission, into the issue.

“Today, a large section of the Bengali society is living in fear. Those who voted against the TMC are being victimised. Many of them are under attack from the TMC supported stormtroopers — their properties vandalised and livelihoods destroyed.

There are reports that dozens of people, including women, have been killed in post-poll violence,” said the letter penned by the academicians, who also claimed that thousands of people have migrated to the adjoining states of Assam, Orissa and Jharkhand due to fear of getting killed or raped by hooligans supported by the ruling party in Bengal. 

The letter signed by academicians, including former vice-chancellors of varsities, Prakash Singh, Govardhan Das and J S P Pande, comes in the wake of Governor Jagdeep Dhankar’s visit to the affected areas. Dhankar was allegedly shown black flags as he interacted with a few victims of violence. BJP leaders claimed the Ministry of Home Affairs would soon deliberate on a report submitted by a team that did a spot assessment.

The letter comes close on the heels of the attack launched by the BJP leaders on Mamata for skipping a review meeting with the PM last week.

Former chief secretary’s response soughtKolkata: A notice served on West Bengal former chief secretary Alapan Bandhopadhyay hours before his retirement had sought his response on why action should not be taken against him under the Disaster Management Act for skipping a post-cyclone review meeting with the Prime Minister on May 28. Bandopadhyay was appointed as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s chief advisor soon after his retirement. The Ministry of Home Affairs directed Bandhopadhyay to ‘’explain in writing’’ in three days as to ‘’why action should not be taken against him’’ under Section 51 of the DM Act. The section pertains to punishment for obstruction for refusal to comply with a direction given by the Centre.