By LE Desk

New Delhi, July 1, 2021: The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the Centre, the West Bengal government, and the Election Commission of India on a plea seeking SIT investigation into the causes of post-poll violence in West Bengal.

The bench led by Justice Vineet Saran was hearing advocate Hari Shankar Jain’s plea seeking directions for a SIT probe into the post-poll violence, reported The Indian Express.

On Wednesday, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) submitted a brief report to the Calcutta High Court with respect to complaints against displacement of people due to the violence. The court will hear the matter on Friday after examining the report.

Last week, the Calcutta High Court had dismissed a petition by the West Bengal government to recall the June 18 order in which a five-judge bench of the High Court had directed the chairperson of the NHRC to constitute a committee to examine all the cases of alleged human rights violations during post-poll violence.

Following the court’s orders, on June 21, NHRC Chairperson Justice (retd) Arun Mishra had constituted the panel headed by former Intelligence Bureau chief Rajiv Jain. However, the NHRC team reportedly faced heckling and threats of violence in Jadavpur on Tuesday afternoon. The vice-chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, Atif Rasheed, who was with the team, said a mob had tried to hit and chase them, and that police personnel accompanying them had provided no help, The Indian Express reported.

In May, a vacation bench of Justices Vineet Saran and B R Gavai had issued a notice to the Centre and the state government on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking the SC’s intervention “to stop” post-poll violence in the state, to order an SIT probe into the alleged crimes and fix liability. In its reply, the TMC government, however, told the apex court that allegations that the state machinery was complicit in the violence are “false” and “misleading”.

The state also said that not all incidents of violence can be categorised as “post-poll violence”, calling the allegations of state-sponsored violence “frivolous and politically motivated”.

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