SC to hear plea on exodus of people in Bengal over post-poll violence

New Delhi:
¬†The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to examine a plea seeking directions to the centre and the West Bengal government to prevent alleged exodus of people due to “state-sponsored” violence after the Assembly election.

Senior advocate Pinky Anand submitted before a bench comprising Justices Vineet Saran and B.R. Gavai that more than one lakh has been displaced in the state due violence connected with the Assembly election in West Bengal.

The plea urged the top court to constitute an SIT and investigate and register cases in the incidents of political violence and targeted killings in the state.

“The exodus of the people in West Bengal due to state sponsored violence has posed serious humanitarian issues related to their survival, where they are forced to live in deplorable conditions, in violation of their fundamental rights enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution,” said the plea.

Anand contended before the bench that the matter requires urgent listing, as people have been forced out of their homes. The bench replied, “Ok, we will hear the matter next week.”

The plea has been filed by social worker Arun Mukherjee and others, who claim to be aggrieved with the post-poll violence in the state from May 2 onwards.

“The petitioner states that the situation in West Bengal has become so volatile and politically charged, with severe consequences against the lives and liberty of individuals, that intervention by this court is urgently needed,” said the plea.

The plea alleged that police and the state sponsored goons are in cahoots because of which the police prove to be a mere spectator in the entire episode, discouraging and threatening victims from filing FIRs.

“The post electoral Violence in Bengal from May 2, causing bombing, murder, gang rape, outraging of modesty of women, arson, kidnapping, loot, vandalism and destruction of public property, which led to a widespread fear and terror in the minds of ordinary residents of the State ultimately, forcing them to leave their home,” added the plea.

The petitioners also sought formation of commission for rehabilitation of displaced persons, compensation for loss of family members, property, livelihood, mental and emotional agony.

The plea contended that people, who are internally displaced, are forced to stay in shelter homes/camps in and outside West Bengal.

The petitioners urged the top court to issue direction to the centre to discharge its duty under Article 355 of the Constitution, including all measures under the law of the land, including executive orders, to ensure rule of law in the state.