Calcutta High Court grants Police protection for 303 Bengal post-poll violence victims

Calcutta High Court

On Monday, the Calcutta High Court ordered police protection for 303 victims of the West Bengal post-poll violence. The Eastern state of Bengal witnessed massive violence post the 2021 Assembly Elections in which Mamata Banerjee-led AITC won a thumping majority. A bench, comprising of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajrashi Bharadwaj, after examining the comprehensive affidavit filed by Priyanka Tiberwal, pronounced the order of police protection for the 303 victims. The bench was informed by the petitioner that out of 303 alleged victims, 47 could not even return to their workplace and 164 victims have been evicted forcefully from their own houses. The court was also informed that the houses of 92 victims were completely demolished in the violence. 

Earlier, the Calcutta High Court on August 19 had asked the state of West Bengal to start the process of compensation for the victims of the West Bengal post-poll violence. The court, in the strictest term, has called out the approach of the State government as a ‘casual attitude.’ Advocate Priyanka Tiberwal, who is appearing on the behalf of the victims, had raised the issue of compensation for the victims. The bench, taking note of the affidavit filed by Priyanka Tiberwal, directed her to serve a copy of the affidavit filed to the Advocate General along with Director General and Inspector General (IG) of Police so that all the necessary actions could be taken by the police. 

The Calcutta High Court further directed the DG and IG to ensure that the 303 alleged victims do not go through any form of harassment by the Police or by the local area goons. Further, advocate Priyanka Tiberwal also put forth her demand to form a committee that would comprise of 2 members- one from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and another from the West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) so that the affidavit containing the names of the 303 claimed victims could be placed before the Committee in order to ascertain the real ground position. The bench comprising of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajrashi Bharadwaj allowed her to implead the NHRC as a party to the case.

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