After Reminder on Report, MHA Sends Team to WB to Probe Violence

The Centre had written to Bengal on 3 May asking for a detailed report on the post-poll violence in the state.

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Amid a row over post-poll violence in West Bengal, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has formed and sent a four-member team to the state to probe the matter, officials said, reported The Indian Express.

The four-member team is led by an additional secretary rank official, the report added.

The team left for Kolkata on Thursday morning and has been given 48 hours to come back with a report, the daily added, quoting an MHA official.

Meanwhile, the MHA has asked the West Bengal governor to send a report on the law and order situation in the state, ANI reported, quoting government sources.

This comes after the MHA on Wednesday for the second time wrote to the Bengal government asking why a report it had sought on the violence earlier had not been submitted.

The MHA has sent a letter to Bengal’s Chief Secretary, Alapan Bandyopadhyay, reminding him of a letter the MHA sent on 3 May, in which he’d been asked to take immediate steps to curb the violence and also submit a detailed report on the same.

The MHA said that the above mentioned report had not been submitted by the Bengal government.

“So far the report has not been received. According to media reports, violence continues. This means effective measures have not been taken so far,” said a MHA official to The Indian Express, quoting from the letter.

“The letter has also said that if the situation report is not received at once, it will be viewed seriously," the official added.

Political Violence in Bengal

Since the declaration of the election results for the West Bengal Legislative Assembly on 2 May, in which the Trinamool Congress (TMC) won with a thumping majority, reports of political violence in the state has come to the fore.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has claimed that several of its workers were killed by the TMC in the post-poll violence. Some BJP leaders have also given this a communal spin, stating that "Hindus were being attacked by Muslims".

Meanwhile, the TMC has also claimed that several of its workers have died in the violence.

The Centre, the BJP as well as West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar have kept up the pressure on the Bengal government regarding the violence.

Dhankhar said that Prime Minister Modi had called him to take stock of the situation and had expressed anguish over the same.

At Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's swearing in on 5 May, she appealed to all political parties to maintain peace and assured that she will deal with the violence with a heavy hand. Mamata contended that between 2 and 5 May, the reigns of the government, and law and order were not in her hands.

This has been contested by the Governor who said that the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) was lifted on 3 May, after which it was the Mamata government's responsibility to maintain law and order.

After assuming office, Mamata has reinstated police officers in top posts who were removed by the Election Commission (EC).

Meanwhile, the West Bengal Police has taken to social media to debunk certain viral videos of the violence as fake news.

(With inputs from ANI, PTI, and The Indian Express.)

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