Political Violence In Bengal — She Is Not My Didi

by Shubham Tiwari - May 11, 2021 04:36 PM +05:30 IST
Political Violence In Bengal — She Is Not My DidiMamata Banerjee (Facebook)
  • As an independent National Law School initiative, we undertook a study to evaluate the truth in the allegations of political killings against the de-facto principal opposition party in the state i.e., the BJP.

    The findings of this report are shocking, problematic and unacceptable to those who believe that India is to be truly democratic.

I know, me writing this article would hardly make any difference to the pain and sufferings of our brethren in Bengal.

However, the Dharma of my pen compels me to not be silent either.

Friends, the post-poll violence in Bengal has surprised people across India, but not me.

This is not because political violence unfortunately has been a part of Bengal’s public life for decades, but having followed the Mamata Banerjee dispensation for long, I’m convinced that it's political violence which constitutes the foundational pillar of her rule in the state.

And to retain this mandate, violence has been unleashed to instill fear in the minds of the electorate to be 'careful' in exercising their political choice in future.

Her regime characterises the sabotage of our democratic principles, the compromise of the Rule of Law and the deliberate dismantling of the criminal justice system in the state.

This assertion is not for any political brownie points or ideological profits, but is backed by objective, extensive research on the response of the ruling dispensation and state machinery on political violence in Bengal.

As an independent National Law School initiative, we undertook a study to evaluate the truth in the allegations of political killings against the de-facto principal opposition party in the state i.e., the BJP.

This study, titled ‘Political Killings in Mamata’s Bengal — A White Paper on violence against the Opposition’ has been published by Garuda publications.

The findings of this report are shocking, problematic and unacceptable to those who believe that India is to be truly democratic.

The report makes it clear that the legal order has collapsed, criminal justice system failed and the Rule of Law and democracy at stake, as West Bengal stands converted into a ‘party state’ within the constitutional framework of a democratic republic.

During the course of our study, I was shocked to know that police stations in Bengal are run by TMC cadres. It is these cadres who are appointed as ‘civic volunteers’ attached to police stations to pursue party interests.

In one such case, upon the examination of evidence, it was revealed that Anoop Roy, a BJP karyakarta, was apprehended by these TMC cadres attached to Raiganj police station and later on killed in police custody.

This case of custodial death has been calculatedly brushed aside by the Bengal police as a case of "cerebral haemorrhage".

Even after the second postmortem on the orders of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Raiganj, the column for cause of death has been left blank in the Post-Mortem report.

A third post-mortem and statutorily mandated section 176 CrPC enquiry has still not been done, despite orders from the Calcutta High court.

And imagine the pain of the family, which has still not cremated the dead body.

As a student of Law, I was shocked to know that post-mortem reports have been manipulated to suppress the truth. Intervention of courts for proper post-mortems has become a norm in Bengal.

Even then, unsatisfied families of the victims have buried the dead bodies across the state, refusing to perform the last rites.

As a consistent pattern, homicides having an element of political killing have been passed of as "suicides" across Bengal.

The hanging of Hematabad MLA, Debendra Nath Roy, has also been recorded as a "suicide" irrespective of the suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.

The eagerness of the Bengal police to jump to conclusions in cases of political murders by calling them "suicides" speaks of their motivations.

It is evident from the study undertaken for this report that whether it’s a case of opening of fire on students or the hanging of BJP karyakartas like Dulal Kumar, Trilochan Mahato and Shishupal Sahi, the state police and the district administration operate on the instructions of their political masters and have failed the criminal justice system in the state.

Though people like us who are outside Bengal are not victims of the problem, we can at least become a part of the solution.

It's time to talk solutions and what we as Indian citizens can do for the miseries of our brethren in Bengal.

For that, some issues need clarity.

Firstly, it will be too naïve to expect that Mamata Banerjee would stop this violence as she is the direct beneficiary of the syndicate.

Contrarily, it is highly likely that she would discriminate, intimidate and punish the BJP cadres for standing up against her in the elections with the help of the state police and district administrations.

Secondly, we need to come out of this "where are the left-liberals now syndrome".

If you think these fascists-in-liberal-attire are going to speak for you, the common man in Bengal, then it's time for a reality check. From top to bottom, these left-liberals are all intrinsically against the interests of the nation. Hoping for their support would be akin to expecting a bountiful lake in a desert.

I know many of us expect the Central government to use Article 356 or may be some consternation from the Supreme Court or Calcutta High Court, but it is highly unlikely that Mamata Banerjee will care two hoots about these majestic institutions either.

What could, however, stop Mamata Banerjee in her tracks is the intelligent weaving of a global narrative around the cultural decimation of a state — once believed to have been a beacon of light.

It is only a well-crafted expose of mainstream media failure to audit Bengal that can bring this chief minister-gone-rogue to her senses — because that is the only language and weaponry the pseudo-liberals understand and wield.

Constant vigil by concerned citizens and those who hold culture (whatever is left of it minus the violence in Bengal) to be of some social and curative meaning is the only way India can redeem the state from its extant sunkenness.

When people regularly start petitioning the high offices of the President, the Chief Justice of India, the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court, and the Governor of Bengal, only then can the state machinery be motivated into disciplinary action.

The battle is not small by any standards, and therefore, a proper documentation of this violence is the need of the hour.

Let’s document this with whatever resources we have and create awareness on the "murder of democracy" in Bengal, across educational campuses in India.

For, if the youth really stand for freedom and liberty, Bengal is where their attention should be drawn.

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