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‘PM called me, expressed anguish over Bengal’s law and order situation’: Governor on post-poll violence


By PTI

KOLKATA: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Tuesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi called him and expressed anguish over the law and order situation in the state following reports of post-poll violence from several districts.

The state was in the throes of widespread violence on Monday that allegedly left several BJP workers dead and injured in clashes, and shops being looted, prompting the Centre to seek a factual report from the government on incidents of attack on opposition workers.

“PM called and expressed his serious anguish and concern at alarmingly worrisome law & order situation @MamataOfficial. I share grave concerns @PMOIndia given that violence vandalism, arson, loot and killings continue unabated,” Dhankhar wrote on Twitter.

Four people were killed in alleged clashes between TMC and BJP supporters in Burdwan district on Sunday and Monday, officials said.

The TMC claimed three of them were its supporters.

Videos of alleged arson at a BJP office with bamboo poles and roof tiles burning amid worried cries of people running away from the premises were shared by the party.

“Police @WBPolice @CPKolkata must end senseless political violence, vandalism, arson, killings and intimidation that shames democracy. Why post poll violence only WB? Why this assault on democracy?” the governor asked on the microblogging site.

“Reports indicate horrendous state of affairs. Horrified people are fleeing to save themselves,” he added.

The state was in the throes of widespread violence on Monday that allegedly left several BJP workers dead and injured in clashes, and shops being looted, prompting the Union Home ministry to seek a factual report from the state governent on incidents of attack on opposition workers.

Four people were also killed in alleged clashes between TMC and BJP supporters in Burdwan district on Sunday and Monday, officials said.

The TMC claimed three of them were its supporters.

Videos of alleged arson at a BJP office with bamboo poles and roof tiles burning amid worried cries of people running away from the premises were shared by the party.

Photos of dead men, and people scampering with apparel looted from a shop were everywhere on social media.

PTI could not independently verify the genuineness of the vieos.

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BJP claimed at least six of its workers and supporters including a woman was killed in attacks the party blamed on the TMC.

The BJP shared a video with journalists showing a ransacked party office in Nandigram where piles of documents, posters, and broken furniture lay scattered everywhere.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had Sunday lost the seat to her former lieutenant-turned-adversary Suvendu Adhikari.

Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar summoned state Home Secretary, DGP and Kolkata Commissioner of Police and directed them to restore peace.

He discussed with them the situation following the incidents that took place a day after the ruling TMC returned to power with an overwhelming majority crushing the BJP.

“ACS Home @HomeBengal who was called by me in wake of rising post poll violence in State has been directed to submit report on post poll violence and vandalism in State & steps taken,” Dhankhar tweeted after meeting Home Secretary H K Dwivedi.

He also separately met DGP P Nirajnayan and Police Commissioner Soumen Mitra and directed them to restore law and order.

“DGP West Bengal Police and Commissioner of Kolkata Police summoned by me in the wake of continually rising post poll incidents of arson, looting and violence as also killings in the state were indicated of alarming scenario.

Called upon them to take all steps to restore law and order,” he added.

“MHA has asked West Bengal Government for a report on the post-election violence targeting opposition political workers in the state,” a spokesperson tweeted.

Banerjee, meanwhile, urged her supporters to maintain peace amid reports of violence and asked them not to fall prey to provocations.

The central forces committed many atrocities on TMC supporters during the elections, she alleged.

“Even after the results were announced, BJP attacked our supporters in certain areas but we ask our men not to get provoked and instead report to the police,” she told a press conference.

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Governor Dhankhar, after a meeting with Banerjee at Raj Bhavan, where she had gone to stake claim to form the government his primary focus during the interaction with her was on the government taking steps to end the post-poll incidents of violence, arson, loot and killing.

“It is unfortunate that many lives have been lost, several injured, houses torches in this violence,” he tweeted after meeting the chief minister.

Nadda met the families of two BJP workers killed by alleged TMC supporters in Kankurgachi in Kolkata and Sonarpur in South 24 Parganas. “I have heard about the immense atrocities committed during the Partition. But I have never seen such post-poll violence occurring in West Bengal after the declaration of election results. The present law and order situation is a reflection of the ruling party’s intolerance.,’’ he said. Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday ordered a spot inquiry by a fact-finding team into the incidents of violence.

“Considering as a fit case of the alleged violation of Right to Life of the innocent citizens, the commission has today taken suo-motu cognizance of the matter and has requested its DIG to constitute a team of officers of the Investigation Division of the commission to conduct an on-the-spot fact-finding investigation and to submit a report at the earliest,” NHRC said, in a statement.

(With inputs from Pranab Mondal)



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