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POST POLL VIOLENCE IN WEST BENGAL- MISCARRIAGE OF DEMOCRACY


What is exactly happening in West Bengal


Following the announcement of the state assembly election results in West Bengal, reports of violence in several regions of the state began to circulate. The administration of the re-elected Trinamool Congress confirmed that 16 people had perished in the post-election violence. Other parties, notably the BJP, have claimed that the number of deaths is far greater, with at least 20 people having perished. According to the relatives of the dead, nine members of the BJP and eight members of the TMC were killed in the incident. A member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and a supporter of the Indian Secular Front are also said to have died.


Overnight violence was reported in places like Deganaga in North 24 Parganas district, where houses of TMC supporters were ransacked allegedly by supporters of the Indian Secular Front. At Barasat, supporters of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad were targeted. There were reports of the shops and commercial establishments of BJP supporters being vandalized in Durgapur in Paschim Bardhaman district.The BJP MP from Hoogly.



Effect of the violence on public at large-

142 women were subjected to inhuman atrocities and the modesty of many women outraged. Over 5,000 houses were demolished”, adding that bastis of majority community were bulldozed.

There is no question that violence has erupted in portions of West Bengal following the announcement of the election results. The culprits in the majority of the incidents are said to be members of the ruling Trinamool Congress, which swept the assembly elections with a landslide victory. However, as local news reports show, the violence is not one-sided — both the BJP and the TMC appear to have stepped into the fray. The political workers allegedly clashed with each other, party offices were torched down and some homes were ransacked and valuables also looted. District Administration and local law and order enforcement agencies appear not to have acted to stop such violation of human rights of the affected persons, the NHRC statement said. [1]


Few would argue that a BJP victory in Bengal would have provided the party with yet another useful political and ideological weapon. As a result of these estimates, the BJP leadership decided to spend heavily in its initiative, pump considerable capital into it, and, most importantly, cheer on large crowds at rallies even as Covid stalked the nation.

The National Commission for Women (NCW) said that it has taken suo motu notice of recordings purporting to show women getting beaten up in West Bengal’s Nandigram, an important assembly constituency and beehive of political activity in the state.”Chairperson Rekha Sharma has written to the Director General of Police in West Bengal, requesting prompt action and the arrest of the guilty people, “the NCW stated.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) was also made aware of the violence and instructed a fact-finding investigation team to undertake a spot investigation and submit a report as soon as possible, ideally within two weeks. The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights(NCPCR) also wrote to West Bengal’s chief secretary, expressing worry over post-election violence, claiming that it had received allegations alleging that numerous youngsters had been recruited to take part in the occurrences.



The Political Scenario in Bengal-

Few would argue that a BJP victory in Bengal would have provided the party with yet another useful political and ideological weapon. As a result of these estimates, the BJP leadership decided to spend heavily in its initiative, pump considerable capital into it, and, most importantly, cheer on large crowds at rallies even as Covid stalked the nation. It's troubling that, rather than allowing the Bengal government to suppress the virus, the BJP seems to be more interested in teaching the losing side a lesson.

Considering the CBI's recent conduct as proof of "regulation taking its path" is naive, if not reckless. It's necessary to remember the timeline of events after May 2 in order to comprehend the BJP's post-election conduct in Bengal. In this case, one might take a page from the Union home minister's book and remember that the government's mind is revealed in the sequence of events. The timeline of the Narada case also points to broader political motivations on the part of the BJP government in Delhi. Motives aimed at inflaming the current dispute and holding the TMC on its toes.


On the eve of the 2016 assembly elections, the Narada sting tapes surfaced, showing some TMC ministers and leaders taking bribes. The TMC had a landslide victory in the elections. The sting was ordered to be investigated by the Calcutta high court in 2017.

Three years have elapsed since then. The chancellor, Jagdeep Dhankar, gave the go-ahead to sue the TMC leaders exactly a week after the election outcome. Meanwhile, the BJP launched a campaign around the post-election unrest, calling it "unimaginable." The fact that the BJP made significant strides in the assembly elections adds to the party's sore loser picture. The BJP increased its seat count from three to 77 in just five years. Not just that, but the demise of the CPI-M and the Congress gave the BJP complete control of the opposition. In the Bengal assembly today, it is the only minority party. The party should have taken advantage of its accomplishments and chosen to be a constructive, rather than reckless, opposition. However, the BJP was so confident in its ability to make Bengal that it refused to consider anything other than victory. These manoeuvres are also not new to the party's political playbook. The BJP's proposals which cause unrest in a state that has just finished a bruising eight-phase election (in itself a political ploy to engineer favorable results.) Even as the BJP condemns Bengal's culture of terror, it is all too clear where the party stands on political violence.

The Centre's proposals are causing a lot of speculation. Is the state's governing BJP considering imposing President's Rule? Is it planning to keep the fires burning in Bengal? The state is no stranger to Presidential law or to standing up to an adversarial Core.

A look back at the state's past in the 1960s and 1970s should warn the BJP against going down this path. Bengal has a tradition of rising to the threats faced by a hostile central government. In reality, the adversarial links between competing political parties in charge of state and central governments have bolstered the regional ruling party of the day.


The miscarriage of democracy amid election-

The Election Commission’s credibility, which is one of India’s most trusted organizations, has been badly harmed. Two, the campaign, which is mostly devoid of problems, has gotten the lowest possible turnout. Three, the Bengal election have once again demonstrated that Indian democracy is frequently solely about winning elections at any costs.

By extending the polls for nearly a month, the Election Commission committed an error, whether deliberate or not. Eight stages for one state would have been excessive even in normal circumstances, but amid a worldwide epidemic, the choice defied belief. Bengal’s election was postponed due to the customary violence that precedes elections in the state. Even when the violence was taken into consideration, eight stages for one state, whereas the other states that went to poll with Bengal finished theirs in one to three days was difficult to defend.

Finally, the character of the Bengal campaign, as well as the overabundance of attention paid to it by the central government, the media, and commentators, has demonstrated the primacy of elections in India, To the exclusion of everything else that makes a democracy , such as accountability and governance.


Recent happening in this issue-

SC to hear plea seeking SIT probe into alleged post-poll violence in West Bengal

While the BJP accused the Trinamool Congress (TMC) of "targeted killings," Mamata Banerjee's party said the BJP was circulating false information on social media. This week, the Supreme Court will hear petitions seeking the formation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate alleged post-poll violence in West Bengal. According to news agency ANI, the top court would also look into allegations that the state administration was involved and ignored these instances.


Bengal violence-Supreme Court to examine accusing State, DGP of complicity with goons-

The case filed by five West Bengal citizens has been slated for hearing in the week beginning June 7 by a Vacation Bench comprising Justices Vineet Saran and B.R. Gavai. “Petitioners are aggrieved by the post-election violence in Bengal that began on May 2 and resulted in bombings, murders, gang rape, outraging of women's modesty, arson, abduction, plunder, vandalism, and damage of public property, all of which instilled widespread dread and panic in the hearts of ordinary people of the State, finally driving them to flee their homes,” according to the petition.

The Mamata Banerjee administration and the police were accused of “sponsoring” the thugs, according to the plea. People had been intimidated by the police not to file complaints in circumstances when cognizable offences had occurred. The petitioners demanded the formation of a Special Investigation Team and the establishment of a fast-track court to investigate and prosecute the cases.

References-

NHRC to probe West Bengal violence - The Hindu

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bengal-post-poll-violence-sc-seeks-response-from-centre-state-on-plea-to-prevent-exodus/article34639956.ece

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/bengal-post-poll-violence-group-of-judges-bureaucrats-ambassadors-write-to-to-president-demand-sit-probe/articleshow/82910098.cms

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/post-poll-violence-west-bengal-mamata-banerjee-tmc-vs-bjp-7312734/

https://thewire.in/politics/watch-post-poll-violence-in-west-bengal-and-fake-news-ecosystem


NAME- KASHISH TIWARI

COURSE-BA.LLB(SEM-2)

COLLEGE-AJEENKYA DY PATIL UNIVERSITY






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