A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court, seeking constitution of a Special Investigating Team headed by a retired Judge of the Supreme Court, to direct the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe the violence, which occurred on March 21 in Bogtui village of Birbhum district in West Bengal.
Filed by Vishnu Gupta, National President of Hindu Sena, the petition said the Hindus from Muslim-dominated districts of West Bengal have been chased out from their homes and native places and therefore, they have got shelter in a camp in the neighbouring state of Assam.
The West Bengal Governor has been compelled to make a public statement due to disobedience of the order of the Governor by the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police of West Bengal as they did not submit a complete report on the post poll violence in the state in May, 2021.
The disobedience of the order of Governor by two top bureaucrats of the State is not only a case of disobedience but also breakdown of constitution machinery in the State , alleged the PIL.
The Petition averred that the Trinamool congress local unit is trying to shift the focus to a short-circuit as cause of fire. Therefore, the SIT constituted by the local government is investigating the cause of the fire. They are not investigating the houses which were set on fire by the Trinamool Congress workers in retaliation of bomb attack on Badu Sheikh and consequential death of Trinamool Congress Deputy Panchayat head namely Bhadu Sheikh.
“The state government has miserably failed to protect the life and limb of the members of the people and further failed in taking action against the criminals who have committed crime of murder , arson and loot.”
The Petitioner referred to various incidents of violence in West Bengal which include in the month of February, 2012 former CPI (M) MLA Sh. Pradipta and Burdwan District leader Kamal Gayen were killed by All India Trinamool Congress workers, which was post poll violence of Year, 2011. In 2011 Assembly Elections in the State of West Bengal where total 56 People were killed in Nine Months. In the Panchayat Poll violence in the State of West Bengal in the Year, 2018 where about 20 People at several places were killed who opposed the candidates filled by All India Trinamool Congress. In December, 2020 All India Trinamool Congress workers made a violent attack on the convoy of BJP Chief Sh. J. P. Nadda.
Grounds mentioned in the PIL are :-
a) Because the Police Administration of the State of West Bengal has miserably failed in discharging its duty / responsibility in protecting the life and property of the people of the village Bogtui, district Birbhum, West Bengal. The ghastly incident of murder, arson and loot which took place on 21.03.2022 which has resulted into murder of more than 8 persons of the village which include women and children. Further the fear and insecurity and lack of faith in Police Administration is also evident from the exodus of people from that Village to some other safe places. Therefore, it requires interference of this Hon’ble Court to protect the fundamental right of the people in the District Birbhum.
b) Because the State of West Bengal has a history of political killings. The incident of 21.03.2022 is also one of the political killings and therefore, the shoddy investigation is being conducted by the State Police . Therefore, the public interest requires to uphold the rule of law by conducting fair and impartial investigation to bring the offenders to justice.
c) Because the deadly incident of murder of more than 8 persons in the village Bogtui, district Birbhum, West Bengal on 21.3.2022 as well as exodus of members of people from the said village is a glaring example of failure of state machinery in protecting the life and limb of the villagers as well as instilling a sense of security among the members of the people in the district of Birbhum, West Bengal. Therefore, the Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India are openly violated.
d) Because the State Machinery is influenced by the leadership of the ruling political parties to the extent that no legal action is taken against its workers and leaders who are involved and mastermind of political killings and exodus. This is evident from the fact that Director General of Police is making public statement before initiation of investigation that the incident dated 21.3.2022 is not a political murder. He further says that this is the result of local rivalry. But he did not notice the fact that burning to death of more than 8 persons including children and women by members of political party inside a house in retaliation to the murder of Bhadu Sheikh, Deputy Panchayat head belonging to Trinamool congress cannot be taken as a result of local rivalry. Therefore, the Director General of Police is absolutely acting to protect the ruling party and its workers from the scene of crime. Therefore, the fair and impartial investigation by SIT constituted by the state government is always shrouded by the influence of the leadership of the ruling party. The rule of law assures justice to the public at large and therefore, it is to be considered by this Hon’ble court to constitute a Special Investigating Team under the Chairmanship of a Retired Judge of this Hon’ble court and upon submission of the report, the investigation and prosecution may be monitored by this Hon’ble court to its logical conclusion.
e) Because the Respondents 2 and 3 are indulging in abuse of power by the state and extending threat to those citizens who do not support the political ideology of the ruling political party of the state of west Bengal. They extend threats to their safety and freedom. Thus, there is violation of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.
f) Because the right to protection of life and limb is the fundamental right as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The exodus of people from the village Bogtui Dist Birbhum, West Bengal on and from 21.03.2022 is not only violation of Article 14 but violation of Article 21 also. As they are denied the right to autonomy, right to equality, right to freedom of speech and expression and right to full participation in a democratic process. Therefore, the Petitioner has preferred the instant Writ Petition praying for the Constitution of Special Investigation Team by this Hon’ble Court to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators and to protect the fundamental rights and human rights of citizens of District Birbhum, West Bengal.
g) Because the Indian Constitution instituted a republican form of government, where power lies not in the hands of any public official but inherited in each citizen. Each public official exercises powers only under the limited authority granted by the constitution of India. Each branch of government is constrained by the Constitution and is accountable to the public, as agents of their sovereign power.
h) Because the misuse of power against Indian citizens is a grave breach of individual fundamental rights and threat to public safety. That the Respondents are duty bound to ensure that the public is informed about the perpetrators, scale and impact of these criminal actions and breaches of fundamental rights, and measures taken to prevent such further occurrences.
i) Because the Citizens of India have a right to know about violations of their fundamental rights. This is not merely a matter of personal safety and dignity, but also so that individuals can avail of constitutional remedies for such violations.
j) Because the participation of individuals in democratic processes hinges on its fairness and integrity. If citizens are left to believe that one’s chances of successfully engaging in the democratic process are doomed from the start due to indiscriminate illegal surveillance by persons in power, including against political rivals, this will have a strong deterrent effect on public participation in democratic processes and institutions.