News Brief

"Who Can't Celebrate In Peace...": Calcutta High Court Recommends No Elections In Baharampur Over Ram Navmi Violence

Nishtha Anushree

Apr 23, 2024, 06:01 PM | Updated 06:00 PM IST

Calcutta High Court.
Calcutta High Court.

Taking strict note of the Ram Navmi violence that happened in West Bengal's Murshidabad district on 17 April, Calcutta High Court said on Tuesday (23 April) that it recommends no elections here.

A bench led by Chief Justice T S Sivagnanam said, "If people can't live in peace and harmony, we will say that the Election Commission can't hold parliamentary elections in these districts. That's the only way."

The court highlighted that in 23 places in Kolkata, celebrations were held but no untoward incident happened there and questioned how many people have been arrested in the case. 

The state counsel responded to this query by saying that the state's Crime Investigation Department (CID) has now taken over the probe of the incident which left a dozen injured.

The court was firm on its recommendation as it added, "Despite the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) being invoked, if two sets of people are fighting like this, they don't deserve any elected representatives."

It further wondered, "If this happens when the MCC is in place, what do the state police do? What are the central forces doing? Both couldn't contain the clashes," as per India Today report.

It concluded, "We propose that we will make a recommendation to the Election Commission of India that people who can't celebrate in peace should not be allowed to participate in elections."

While no order was issued on the deferment of elections in any constituency, the recommendation was made for Baharampur, which falls under Murshidabad where violence happened.

Congress' Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury is the incumbent MP here and is seeking to get elected from here for the sixth consecutive time.

BJP has fielded Dr Nirmal Kumar Saha and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) candidate is former cricketer Yusuf Pathan. The constituency has a majority of Muslims.

The court has asked the state police to file the report on the Ram Navmi violence and will take up the matter in the next hearing on 26 April.

Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.

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