[West Bengal Post Poll Violence] "Exodus of people in State-Sponsored violence posed serious humanitarian crisis": Fresh Plea in Supreme Court seeks SIT probe, commission for displaced persons

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A plea has been moved in Supreme Court seeking directions to end/prevent the violence engulfing the state of West Bengal following the 2021 elections and set up a probe by an SIT to look into the incidents of violence.  

The petitioner claims that the violence was state sponsored and led to displacement of people, resulting in a huge humanitarian crisis, calling for a Commission to rehabilitate those who were affected by the exodus. 

"In the aforesaid circumstances, the present writ petition is being filed to seek directions against respondents to this prevent/stop the State Sponsored Violence, constituting SIT to fairly investigate the matter and take appropriate action against culprits in reported incidents of violence by following due course of law. It also seeks for formation of Commission for rehabilitation of displaced persons, compensation for loss of family members, property, livelihood, mental and emotional agony," states the plea filed by AOR Shruti Agarwal [in the matter of Arun Mukherjee & Ors. Vs. Chief Secretary, West Bengal & Ors.]

Senior Advocate Pinky Anand mentioned the present petition before a Division Bench of Justice Gavai and Justice Saran, during the course of hearing today.

“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 plea states.

Grounds inter-alia preferred by the Petitioner;

  1. Respondents have failed to protect the Fundamental rights of the citizens and have created a grave humanitarian crisis.
  2. Respondents have been complacent in carrying out their duties.
  3. Respondents have failed to perform its obligations under Article 355 of the Constitution to protect the State against internal disturbance and to ensure that the Government of the State is carried in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
  4. Situation in West Bengal has become so politically charged that intervention by the Hon’ble Court is urgently needed.
  5. Due to dereliction of duty on part of West Bengal Government and of the Respondents No. 1, 2 and 3, lives of more than eighteen political activists have been lost, many more have been injured, sexual violence against women with opposite political views were committed, loot, arson and destruction of both private and property committed in broad daylight.

Prayer sought by the Petitioner;

  1. Constitute a Special Investigation Team to investigate cases and the incidents of political violence, targeted killings in the State.
  2. Respondents to provide immediate relief to internally displaced persons affected due to post poll violence.
  3. Direct Respondent 4 to constitute an Inquiry Commission to assess the scale and causes of exodus from the State.
  4. Direct Respondent 4 to setup a helpline number monitored by Central Forces to respond to SOS calls.
  5. Directions to set up Fast-track Courts adjudicating the matters pertaining to the prosecution of any individual or organization involved in the commission of heinous offences.