“Biased, Disregard It”: Bengal To Court On Rights Body’s Violence Report


West Bengal has said it took steps to prevent violence following the May 2 election result declaration.

Kolkata:

The West Bengal government has slammed a report submitted by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to the Calcutta High Court on post-poll violence in the state, calling it false, absurd, biased, and full of sweeping homilies that violated the parameters of enquiry set by the court.

In a 95-page affidavit submitted on Monday, the state urged the court to “disregard the contents of the entire report” as it “does not depict the true and correct picture”.

The affidavit also said several members of the NHRC panel were directly linked to the BJP and, therefore, biased against the state’s ruling dispensation.

Three specific names were listed in this context: Rajiv Jain, a former Intelligence Bureau officer given several extensions by the BJP government at the Centre; Atif Rashid, a former chief of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad who also served as president of the party’s Minority Morcha in Delhi; and Rajulben Desai, associated with its Mahila Morcha in Gujarat, besides other BJP projects.

Referring to the 3,428-page NHRC report, the affidavit said the report “pertains to false allegations against the state administration, including the police”.

“The NHRC committee has no power to recommend any course of action as has been done in the report,” it said, citing the recommendation for a CBI probe. “The committee has exceeded its mandate and, in doing so, has clearly demonstrated its bias and…stated facts which are entirely denied and disputed by the government.”  

The government, it added, is entitled to cross examine members of the panel and compel them to prove the veracity of statements made in the report.  

The public interest litigations under consideration in the case are “politically motivated and do not depict the true and correct picture of the state of affairs in West Bengal. The state of West Bengal denies all allegations contrary to records in this PIL”.

The government said it had extended full cooperation to the human rights panel which visited different places between June 24 and July 10. All logistical support was extended and “a cumulative sum of Rs 7,999,38 was spent on lodging and food” for committee members.

“It has been falsely alleged in paragraph 19 (3) of the report that the state of West Bengal has provided abysmal accommodation and/or transport to members of the committee,” the affidavit said.

It reiterated that the administration took all steps to prevent any violence following the Assembly election’s result declaration on May 2, 2021.

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