Bengal Approaches Supreme Court Against CBI Probe Into Post-Poll Violence

On August 19, the Calcutta High Court had ordered a CBI probe into "heinous crimes of murder and rape" in Bengal after the assembly elections

Bengal Approaches Supreme Court Against CBI Probe Into Post-Poll Violence

The CBI is working at behest of the Centre, said the Bengal government. (FILE)

Highlights

  • On August 19, the Calcutta High Court had ordered a CBI probe
  • CBI will not conduct a fair investigation, said the Bengal government
  • CBI is working at behest of the Centre, the state government said

The Bengal government has challenged a Calcutta High Court order for a CBI probe into post-poll violence in the Supreme Court, saying the agency will not conduct a fair investigation.  "The Central Bureau of Investigation is working at behest of the Centre, don't expect a fair investigation," said the government of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, which has been at loggerheads with the agency for several years.

The CBI, Bengal said, is busy registering cases against office-bearers of the Trinamool Congress.

Ms Banerjee -- one of the biggest critics of the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi -- had earlier dubbed the agency a tool of the government, used to punish political opponents.

On August 19, the Calcutta High Court had ordered a CBI probe into "heinous crimes of murder and rape" in the state after the assembly elections, in which Ms Banerjee's Trinamool Congress won a landslide victory in face of the BJP's mammoth election machine.

The judges said a Special Investigation Team should probe the other allegations of violence after the results of the assembly election,

The court had accused the state police of bias in favour of the ruling party and said they either failed to file First Information Reports in cases of serious crimes or registered FIRs only for minor offenses in cases of serious crimes.

The agency has already formed four Special Investigation Units headed by a Joint Director. Altogether, 25 officers will be on the job, sources told NDTV.  

The issue of post-poll violence had reached the Supreme Court earlier, with several families of victims asking for a CBI probe. In its response, the state said the petitions were "politically motivated" and sought their dismissal. Every act of violence after elections cannot be called post-poll violence, the state had said.

Violence in the state after the elections had become another flashpoint between the ruling Trinamool and the BJP.  The BJP alleged that Trinamool goons had killed BJP workers, attacked women members, and targeted shops and houses belonging to party members.

The Bengal government had said the Election Commission was in-charge of law and order when the post-poll violence broke out.