Group of eminent people seeks probe into post-poll violence in Bengal

Serious acts of commission and omission of law and order enforcement machinery of State, they say

A group of nearly 150 citizens, including retired bureaucrats, diplomats, police officials and judges, have written to President Ram Nath Kovind and called for a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe monitored by a retired Supreme Court judge for a fair investigation and speedy justice into post poll violence in West Bengal.

“We are greatly disturbed by the mindless instigation of reported violence in electoral vengeance against the people who exercised their democratic right to vote for one political party or the other. Media reports, largely substantiated by eyewitness accounts, mention murders, rapes, attacks on persons and property, including by anti-national elements, leading to forced migration of people to shelter homes,” the memorandum said.

“It is clear that the overwhelming majority of civilian deaths resulting from political violence were the result of what should be understood as serious acts of commission and omission of the law and order enforcement machinery of the State, or, in the worst case scenario, induced ‘State Terror’,” it said.

Noting that law and order is a State subject, they said the State government under Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee must act in accordance with the Constitutional mandate to maintain it and curb violence with an iron hand to ensure peace and tranquillity.

Former Delhi High Court Chief Justice B.C. Patel, former Bombay High Court Chief Justice Kshitij Vyas, former RAW chief Sanjeev Tripathi, former Punjab DGP P.C. Dogra and former Jammu and Kashmir DGP S.P. Vaid are among the signatories to the memorandum.

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