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Mamta govt in denial mode over post-election violence: Calcutta HC

The Calcutta High Court said on Friday that the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal is in "denial mode" about violence that erupted in May following the state elections. The Court issuing its strongest censure yet following repeated complaints by the BJP. Saying that there was enough evidence to establish post poll violence, the high court said the state had been caught "on the wrong foot" and is in denial mode. The Court ordered to register cases of all victims and also asked the State government to ensure proper medical assistance and ration to all post-poll violence victims. It further mentioned, “Properties of many of them were damaged and a number of them were forced to leave their houses and even migrate to neighbouring states. Till date the State has not been able to create an atmosphere that could build confidence of the sufferers to return back to their homes or carry on their occupation. The complaints of most of them were not recorded by the police or cross cases were forced against them.”

Acknowledging incidents of sexual violence on women and minors, the court sent a show cause notice to a senior police officer for failing to assist a National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) team that came to probe the allegations."The state must respond to queries by NHRC. Chief Secretary must preserve all sensitive documents on post-poll violence," the court ordered. It also ordered a second autopsy at the army hospital in Kolkata of one of the men who was allegedly killed in post-poll violence.

Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari said he "welcomed" the ruling but demanded the investigation be transferred to an "independent" agency. FIR must be filed outside Bengal and probe should continue. Things will be clear then, he said. For las two months, the BJP has alleged that the state has gone soft on curbing post-poll violence that especially targetted its supporters and leaders following their defeat in the polls against the ruling Trinamool Congress. The West Bengal government has said the reports have been greatly exaggerated, with fake videos and images, and most of the incidents of violence that took place around the May 2 counting day happened when the state police was under the control of the Election Commission.

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