Post-Poll Violence: Calcutta HC Orders State Govt to Facilitate Return of Displaced Individuals

Post Poll Violence

The Calcutta High Court has directed the West Bengal government to take immediate measures to facilitate the return of individuals displaced due to alleged post-poll violence in the state to their residences.

The court instructed the police to maintain strict vigilance in areas where violence reportedly occurred and to prevent any recurrence of such incidents.

A division bench comprising Justice Harish Tandon and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharyya issued this directive while hearing petitions concerning accusations of violence in West Bengal following the Lok Sabha elections. The bench is expected to include directions on the extension of deployment of central forces in West Bengal in its forthcoming written order, which will be published on the high court’s website.

Earlier, the court had ordered the continuation of central forces’ deployment in the state until June 21. The bench scheduled further hearings on the petitions for June 26.

During the proceedings, the state’s Advocate General Kishore Dutta informed the court that between June 4, the day the Lok Sabha election results were announced, and June 18, a total of 859 complaints had been received via email at the office of the Director General of Police (DGP). He clarified that out of these, 204 complaints were deemed cognisable offences and FIRs had been registered. Additionally, 175 complaints related to non-cognisable cases had been registered, while 219 complaints were identified as duplicates, 26 were incomplete, and 14 were under scrutiny.

Recognizing the severity of the allegations regarding post-election violence in the state, the court deliberated on whether the ongoing deployment of central forces was necessary in such circumstances. Dutta argued that the daily influx of 10 to 20 complaints regarding cognisable cases statewide did not indicate an inability of the state police to manage the situation.

Representing the central government, Additional Solicitor General Asok Kumar Chakrabarti stated that the deployment of central forces could be extended upon the court’s directive.

In an affidavit submitted to the court, lawyer-petitioner Priyanka Tibrewal listed individuals who had been displaced from their homes or whose residences had been looted. The affidavit, supported by Leader of Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari, alleged that activists of a particular political party had faced atrocities following the conclusion of the Lok Sabha election process.

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