NEW DELHI: A Chennai-based NGO on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court seeking deployment of central forces in post-poll violence-hit areas of West Bengal and a declaration that law and order machinery has broken down in the state, which returned Mamata Banerjee-led TMC to power with a massive mandate.
The NGO ‘Indic Collective Trust, claiming to be a collective of activists, intellectuals and civil liberty campaigners, through advocates Suvi Dutt and J Sai Deepak sought an urgent hearing of the PIL, which requested the SC to set up a special investigation team monitored by a retired SC Judge to probe the involvement of politicians in inciting the violence and arrest the culprits
Significantly, the PIL sought a declaration from the SC that the constitutional machinery in West Bengal has broken down within the meaning of Article 356, which would pave way for the Centre to impose President’s Rule in the state even before the new government, after the declaration of election results, takes charge.
Accusing the state government of failing to protect the life and properties of opposition party workers from the marauding mobs, allegedly owing allegiance to TMC, the petitioner said, selection related violence in the State began after the declaration of election results on May 2. Members and supporters of the opposing political parties have been brutally murdered, with their houses and personal property being destroyed. There have been instances of heinous crimes including the bombing of localities, murders, violation of the modesty of women, riotous looting, kidnapping, arson and destruction of public property.”
“Reports have emerged citing instances of gang rape and physical assault against women who support the opposing parties in the state. Because of the deliberate inaction of the state government, miscreants have turned the state into a complete lawless zone, which demonstrates this was an organized and premeditated crime against a targeted group of people who exercised their political choice against the ruling party,” the NGO said.
“The state administration and the police authorities have failed and/or neglected to clamp down on the unruly elements, thereby leading to institutionalized violence and destruction of the democratic fabric of the state. Since the administration has failed to restore peace and maintain law and order in the aftermath of the elections despite several pleas and numerous news reports, the SC must intervene urgently to save the lives of innocent persons,” the petitioner said.