This Article is From May 25, 2021

3 Arrested For BJP Workers' Murder During Poll Violence, Bengal Tells Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has asked the Centre, West Bengal government and NHRC to file counter affidavits on the plea by the victims' families seeking court-monitored probe.

3 Arrested For BJP Workers' Murder During Poll Violence, Bengal Tells Supreme Court

The Supreme Court was also informed the Calcutta High Court was dealing with the matter (File)

New Delhi:

The West Bengal government informed the Supreme Court on Tuesday that three people have been arrested in connection with the alleged killing of two BJP workers in poll-related violence on May 2 in the state and FIRs have been registered in these cases.

The state government told a vacation bench of Justices Vineet Saran and B R Gavai that investigation is going on.

The Supreme Court asked the respondents, including the Centre, West Bengal government and National Human Rights Commission, to file counter affidavits on the plea by the victims' family members seeking court-monitored probe and transfer of cases to the CBI or Special Investigation Team (SIT).

"You file your counter affidavits. We will have it after two weeks," the bench said.

Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, appearing for West Bengal, told the top court that a five-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court is dealing with the matter related to post poll violence in the state and it had also passed some directions on May 18.

"FIRs stand registered and they are under investigation. Three persons have been arrested in these cases which were lodged based on the complaints," Mr Luthra said.

He said the issue regarding post-poll violence was listed for hearing today before the high court.

Mr Luthra said the matter could not be taken up for hearing by the high court today and it would be heard on Wednesday.

The bench asked Mr Luthra and the counsel appearing for other respondents to file their counter affidavits and posted the matter for hearing after two weeks.

On May 18, the top court had issued notices to the Centre, West Bengal government and others seeking their responses on the plea filed by Biswajit Sarkar, whose elder brother was killed and co-petitioner Swaranalata Adhikari, whose husband was also killed in poll-related violence.

Senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for the petitioners, had said that this is a very serious case and the state has not been taking any action into the brutal killing of two BJP workers, which happened on the day of counting of votes for assembly elections.

He had argued that the matter required to be probed by an agency like the CBI or a SIT under court supervision, as the state police has not been taking any action despite a complaint being made.

The plea, field by advocate Sarad Kumar Singhania, has alleged that Abhijit Sarkar was killed on May 2 by a mob comprising of 20 supporters of the All India Trinamool Congress party.

It said that mob had entered the house of Biswajit Sarkar, dragged his elder brother Abhijit and killed him in front of his mother and other family members.

"Petitioner No.1 (Biswajit Sarkar), his mother who was also molested are the eye witnesses of this gruesome murder, while Petitioner No.2 (Swaranalata Adhikari) is the widow of Haran Adhikari, who was a local booth worker at Booth No.199A at Sonarpur Dakshin Vidhan Sabha.

"He was attacked with bricks, sticks, spade, shovel at his home and brutally killed in the presence of his 80-year-old father, who was also kicked," the plea said.

It said that the petitioners, who are both victims and eye witnesses, have been constrained to invoke the extraordinary writ jurisdiction of the top court seeking fair investigation by a court-appointed SIT into the murders and large scale incidents of violence unleashed at the behest of a particular political party.

The plea has said the court should also examine "the failure of the state administration which while identifying itself with this vengeful cause of the ruling political party in the state has chosen to turn a blind eye leaving victims of these crimes remediless as the entire genocidal attacks are part of a well thought of political design of the party in power to take political revenge after declaration of results of assembly elections on May 2, 2021".

It has alleged that there were a series of such well-planned attacks with the active connivance, knowledge, support and at times participation of the local police under the instructions of the state government.

The plea has also sought direction to monitor the investigation, trial and the progress of criminal cases emanating from the incident and attacks occurring in the aftermath of the assembly elections in the state of West Bengal.

It has also sought the transfer of these two murder cases registered in police station Narkeldanga and Sonarpur to CBI or SIT as may be appointed by this court.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led All India Trinamool Congress had won 213 seats out of 292 seats in West Bengal assembly elections in the hotly contested polls while BJP won 77 seats.

Several violent incidents were reported after supporters of Trinamool Congress and BJP allegedly clashed in various parts of the state since May 2, killing at least 16 people and triggering an alleged exodus.