Post-poll violence: Supreme Court seeks Centre, West Bengal replies

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre and West Bengal government to respond to a plea seeking directions to prevent alleged exodus of people due to “state-sponsored” violence and constituting an SIT to investigate and take appropriate action against culprits.

The plea sought the following reliefs:

  • Direct Centre to discharge its duty vested under Article 355 of the Constitution of India to protect the state from internal disturbance.
  • Constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the incidents of political violence and targeted killings in the State as well as to determine whether the State machinery has been complicit with the perpetrators of violence.
  • Provide immediate relief to the internally displaced persons affected due to post-poll violence by setting up camps, making provision for food, medicines, pandemic resources, etc.
  • Direction to Centre to constitute an Inquiry Commission to assess the scale and causes of the exodus, and direction to State government to provide long-term relief to the internally displaced persons by making provision for their rehabilitation, compensation for loss of family members, property, livelihood, mental and emotional agony.
  • Direct Centre to deploy central protection forces, including armed forces, for the restoration of law and order in the State of West Bengal.
  • Directions for setting up and/or establishing a fast-track court to adjudicate the matters pertaining to the prosecution of any individual or organization

A vacation bench of Justices Vineet Saran and B R Gavai directed that the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the National Commission of Women (NCW) be made parties in the matter after the petitioners said that they have taken note of situation of people in West Bengal.
The top court said the replies of the Centre and West Bengal be filed in the matter and listed the plea for further hearing in the week starting June 7.

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