West Bengal: on 29th June at 12 noon at 6, Ashoka Road, New Delhi, by its members Justice Permod Kohli, Former Chief Justice Sikkim-Chairman, C.VAnanda Bose IAS, Former Chief Secretary, Kerala – Team Leader, Nirmal Kaur IPS, Former DGP, Jharkhand, Nisar Ahmed, Past President, ICSI, M. Madan Gopal IAS, Former Addl Chief Secretary, Karnataka-Member Secretary.
a. Magnitude and reach of the post-poll violence touched many villages and towns all across the State simultaneously beginning from the night of 2nd May 2021. This is a clear indication that most of the incidents are not sporadic but premeditated, organized, and conspiratorial.
b. The fact that some of the hardened criminals, mafia dons, and criminal gangs, who were already in the police records, led and carried the deadly attacks unhindered reveals that there is clear political patronage even before the elections and the same being used to silence the political rivals.
c. The incidents of targeted destruction and vandalization of properties, residential and commercial, have a sole purpose to deprive the livelihood and choking the victim economically. The worst-affected people are those who depend on day-to-day work or business, who are pushed into financial degradation and unmitigated misery.
d. In most of the cases, victims were afraid to lodge a complaint with the police either due to fear of reprisal or due to the lack of faith in the police. Those victims who gathered the courage to went to the received police were either turned away to settle the matter with the culprits or flat refusal to register the case. Many people left to fend themselves leaving their homes and villages to safer destinations, to shelter camps within and outside the State.
e. Forcibly taking away Aadhar cards, ration cards, demanding a written undertaking on not to support a particular political party, demanding for ransom and protection money(called to labazi)to return to the workplace or for reclaiming lands or for rebuilding the houses, removal from contractual employment and all such incidents are basically to instill a lasting political impact and fear psychosis at large.
f. The targeting of people from Scheduled Castes Scheduled Tribes, Women, Children and other vulnerable sections of the society reflects the deep-rooted malaise that had set in the system.
g. Althoughthecountonexactnumberofcasualties, grievous injuries, extent of damage to property is yet to be known fully, the compensation of public life nurtured and protected through powerful lobbies at every level is very clear.
h. The intensity and spread of post-poll violence could have been halted or controlled if the administration and police had acted in time. The assessment of the ground situation reveals that no adequate or reasonable measures were taken, knowingly or unknowingly.
i. The fact that thousands of victims ran helter-skelter leaving their homes and villages to faraway places, wherever they felt safe and secure inside and outside the State is as a reality.