By Ujjwal Roy
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], July 9 (ANI): After the West Bengal government claimed that the post-poll violence in the state was somewhat unabated when the Election Commission of India was in charge of the law and order machinery, member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) team and National Commission for Minorities vice-chairman, Atif Rasheed on Thursday claimed he has FIR number of a bomb blast that took place recently in Murshidabad.
"Four days ago, an incident of bomb blast over a house has been reported in Murshidabad. I don't think Election Commission was there four days ago. An FIR has been registered and I have an FIR number for the same. The Chief Minister should go and see, how this happened when Election Commission was not there in the state," Rasheed told ANI.
On post-poll violence in Bengal and the state government's efforts to bring back normalcy, the Home Department of the West Bengal government on June 16 had said, "While the post-poll violence in the State was somewhat unabated when the Election Commission of India was in charge of the law and order machinery, after the swearing-in, the State Cabinet has reigned in the situation, restored normalcy, and established full command over anti-law elements. The state police have been firmly directed to bring to book all anti-socials and the Government remains committed to maintain the basic fabric of society and to uphold law and order."
However, Rasheed also claimed that the victims were harassed by police for approaching the NHRC. "We have not registered many complaints in Malda, but quite a lot of cases have come from Murshidabad. Victims told us that they were harassed by Police for approaching us (NHRC). For two days, it was being ensured that they (victims) don't reach the NHRC team," Rasheed said.
"Factoring in the harassment meted out to the victims, we told the SP and DM that in case of any negativity against victims, they will be held accountable. I do not come here for any political tourism nor of my own will. I come here for work and that I am doing that. I am here as per the direction of the Calcutta High Court. We don't need any cooperation from the state government. The last time when I came here there was a lack in my security, but this time situation is not like that," he added.
Replying to the allegations of Trinamool Congress and Mamata Banerjee that the NHRC team is working as a member of BJP, Rasheed said, "I would like to tell those who are labelling the allegations that, I am not an active member of BJP now, the day I joined National Commission for Minorities, I am not associated with any political party."
"Moreover, the allegation will not change the fact that houses of people are being destroyed, people are moving out of their places and many other things," he added.
Rasheed is on a three-day visit to West Bengal to investigate the post-poll violence in the state. The National Commission for Minorities vice-chairman who is in the state from July 6 to 9, will visit the affected areas in Malda and Murshidabad.
Rasheed during a meeting with Murshidabad SP had said, "The public is scared of the police. Their fault is they voted for the BJP. Why police torture for voting? Police are threatening victims not to file a complaint."
On his visit to the state on June 29, Rasheed had alleged that he was attacked in Jadavpur when the NHRC team went to the state to investigate the post-poll violence attacked here.
Earlier, on June 21, the NHRC chairperson Justice (Retired) Arun Mishra has constituted a committee headed by former Intelligence Bureau chief Rajiv Jain to enquire into the complaints of post-poll violence in West Bengal. The inquiry was ordered by the orders of the High Court of Calcutta, NHRC officials said.
As per the orders of the High Court, the NHRC Committee shall examine all cases of post-poll violence in West Bengal, complaints that have already been received in the National Human Rights Commission or which may be received.
A four-member team deputed by the Ministry of Home Affairs has also visited the post-poll violence-affected areas after several incidents of violence have been reported at various places after the declaration of the Assembly poll results on May 2. (ANI)