New Delhi: The Supreme Court has announced that it will hear the filed petitions seeking to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the alleged incidents of political violence and targeted killings in the state of West Bengal on May 25.
The apex court will also find out as to whether the state machinery has been complicit with the perpetrators of violence in these incidents and violating human rights.
A two-judge vacation bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice Vineet Saran and also comprising Justice B R Gavai will hear on May 25, Tuesday, the number of petitions filed by Arun Mukherjee, Debjani Halder, Bhupen Halder, Prosanta Das and Paramita Dey.
The petitioners have made the Union of India (UOI), State of West Bengal government, Chief Secretary of West Bengal, and Director General of Police (DGP) WB as respondents in the present petition filed jointly before the Supreme Court.
The petitioners sought a direction from the Top Court to the UOI to discharge its duty, vested under Article 355 of the Constitution of India, to protect the state (West Bengal) from internal disturbances and to ensure that the government in the state is carried on, as per Constitutional provisions.
The petitioners sought direction from the Chief Secretary, Government of West Bengal and UOI, to provide immediate relief to the internally displaced persons affected due to post-poll violence by setting up camps, make provision for food, medicines, pandemic resources, and make appropriate medical facilities accessible to them in light of COVID pandemic.
They also sought that the Central government should constitute an Inquiry Commission to assess the scale and causes of the exodus.
The petitioners also sought that a direction should be given to the WB government to provide long-term relief to the internally displaced persons affected due to post-poll violence, by making provision for their rehabilitation, compensation for loss of family members, property, livelihood, mental and emotional agony.
The Supreme Court should direct the Chief Secretary, WB government and UOI to set up an alternative helpline number, monitored by central forces to respond to SOS calls and also record complaints/ FIRs of Internally displaced persons within and outside the state of West Bengal, the petition said.
The petitioner also sought direction to the UOI to deploy central protection forces, including armed forces, for the restoration of law and order in the state of West Bengal.
The Supreme Court should make directions for setting up and/or establishing a fast-track court to adjudicate the matters pertaining to the prosecution of any individual or organization involved in the commission of heinous offences.
“It is humbly submitted that the reliefs are imperative in order to protect the life, property and livelihood of the people of West Bengal under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, which is being brazenly violated in the political pogrom by members and supporters of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and to prevent the ongoing exodus of citizens from the State of West Bengal,” the petition said.
The petitioners have filed the present petition, after being aggrieved by the post-electoral violence in Bengal from May 02, 2021, onwards, causing bombing, murder, gangrape, outraging of modesty of women, arson, kidnapping, loot, vandalism and destruction of public property, which led to widespread fear and terror in the minds of ordinary residents of the State ultimately, forcing them to leave their homes.
The police and the State-sponsored goons are in Cahoots because of which the police proved to be a mere spectator in the entire episode, discouraging and threatening victims from filing FIRs, non-investigation of cases, inaction in incidents where cognizable offences have been committed in presence of the police authorities, non-provision of security to those facing threats to life etc, the petition said.
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 of India, the petition filed before the Supreme Court said.