Setback for Mamata, Calcutta HC orders CBI probe into post-poll violence

In a massive setback for the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government, the Calcutta High Court has ordered a CBI probe into the post-election violence in the state. The verdict of the 5-judge bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal, Justice IP Mukerji, Justice Soumen Sen, Justice Subrata Talukdar and Justice Harish Tandon came on the basis of petitions filed against the state government's inaction against the alleged acts of violence unleashed by Trinamool Congress party cadre. In its order, the CBI has been directed to submit its reports in 6 weeks.  The High Court also directed the state government to extend total cooperation to CBI. The High Court bench also ordered the setting up of a Special Investigation Team comprising senior officers from the West Bengal cadre. To recall, on May 4 this year, the National Human Rights Commission had taken cognisance of the incidents of political violence allegedly targetting those who were against the ruling party. The NHRC was then directed by the Calcutta High Court to submit a report after examining the complaints filed by those who were displaced due to the violence.  In its report, the NHRC had noted that the situation in West Bengal was a manifestation of "law of the ruler" and not "rule of law", and hence recommended a CBI probe into the cases related to rape and murder of individuals.

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