Mamata supporters may now file petitions against lawlessness in Uttar Pradesh
With the Supreme Court, NHRC and the Women's Commission having taken note of petitions about lawlessness in Bengal, the only option for Mamata Banerjee supporters is to start filing petitions on UP
The spirit of federalism and nationalism in Uttar Pradesh is so strong that two Uttar Pradesh based citizens, Ranjana Agnihotri, a lawyer, and Jitender Singh, a social worker, both BJP supporters if not members, have moved the Supreme Court to impose President’s Rule in Bengal, nearly 2500 kms away from Lucknow. The reason they have cited is the alleged loss of lives of 15 BJP workers in post-poll violence.
A number of BJP cadres and leaders based in Delhi have also complained to the National Human Rights Commission and National Women’s’ Commission claiming that people were not safe in Bengal as post poll violence had escalated to an unacceptable level. Their concern is such that several such petitions appear likely in the days to come.
Being Indians they are clearly within their rights to feel concerned about people living 2,500 Kilometres away. Bengal is after all an Indian state and so is UP. But what baffles people in Bengal is why these conscious citizens do not seem to have much concern over the lynching, murder, rape and hounding of journalists in their own backyard in Uttar Pradesh.
In UP in the wake of the recently held panchayat elections, a large number of innocent Dalits, particularly from the Jatav community were forced to leave their homes. Dozens of political activists were brutally beaten up. Samajwadi Party complained that BJP supporters had physically prevented their party nominees from filing nomination in the District Panchayat election.
Two journalists who tried to expose the functioning of the bureaucracy and how it was acting at the beck and call of politicians, were killed. The two petitioners so concerned at the disorder prevailing in Bengali society, seem blissfully ignorant of what is happening right under their nose.
The call to impose President’s rule in Bengal has been kept alive by political circles and the media in New Delhi. And why only in Delhi ? BJP leaders from other parts of the country too, as if on cue, have joined the chorus. The objective is not hard to find. Unable to swallow the defeat of BJP in the state, and the rising acceptance of Mamata Banerjee in the rest of the country, the urge to destabilise her government and to keep her on her toes is understandable. After all she did the unthinkable in Bengal and demonstrated that the Modi-Shah duo were not invincible.
With the Supreme Court accepting the petition and issuing 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 petitioners are optimistic that their prayer would be granted.
The Supreme Court also directed the Centre to deploy armed/paramilitary forces in the aid of the administrative authorities to bring normalcy in the state and to save it from internal disturbances. This has paved the way for the Union Home ministry to intervene in the functioning of the state government.
BJP workers are also euphoric as the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has submitted its report to the Calcutta High Court in the matter of displacement of people due to the violence. On June 18 the 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 notwithstanding the plea of the state government to recall the order.
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.
The desperation of the BJP leadership to throw Mamata out of office is so acute that they are not willing to give any chance to Mamata Banerjee to even respond. As if all this was not enough, the Governor Jagdeep Dhankar has been behaving like the opposition in Bengal.
It is an open secret that Modi and Amit Shah had engaged in a blatantly communal campaign.
But the only recourse for Mamata supporters is now to start filing petitions against lawlessness in Uttar Pradesh.
Views are personal