Updated on: Wednesday, June 16, 2021, 08:35 AM IST

West Bengal govt hits back at Guv Dhankhar over letter questioning Mamata Banerjee's silence on post-poll violence


Kolkata (West Bengal): Slamming West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar over his letter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on post-poll violence, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government on Tuesday said the contents of the letter were "not consistent with real facts".

In a series of tweets, the Home Department of the West Bengal government said the Governor's act of making the letter public was "violative of all established norms, and disrupts sanctity of such communications".

"The government of West Bengal has observed with dismay and distress that the Governor of West Bengal has suddenly made public, a letter of his to the Chief Minister of West Bengal, with contents that are not consistent with real facts," it said.

The department went on to say that the "unusual" step of going public in this manner "abruptly and unilaterally" has shocked the state government all the more because the "contents are fabricated".On post-poll violence in Bengal and the state government's efforts to bring back normalcy, it said: "While the post-poll violence in the State was somewhat unabated when the Election Commission of India was in charge of the law and order machinery, after the swearing-in, the State Cabinet has reigned in the situation, restored normalcy, and established full command over anti-law elements. The state police have been firmly directed to bring to book all anti-socials and the Government remains committed to maintain the basic fabric of society and to uphold law and order." This comes after West Bengal Governor in a letter urged Chief Minister Banerjee to break her silence on post poll retributive violence and restore law and order.

In a tweet, while making the letter public, Dhankhar said he called upon Banerjee to have an interaction on the issues mentioned in the letter at the earliest.

"With a heavy heart, I am constrained to observe your continued silence and inaction over post-poll retributive bloodshed, violation of human rights. outrageous assault on the dignity of women, wanton destruction of property, the perpetuation of untold miseries on political opponents- worst since independence and it ill augurs for democracy," he said in the letter.

Dhankhar in the letter claimed that "in spite of drawing her attention to the enormity of situation, huge exodus of people in search of cover for life and destruction of property worth crores, there has only been stunning silence at Banerjee's end and she did not deem it necessary to even deliberate this grave human tragedy in any of the cabinet meetings so far." "Your studied silence, coupled with an absence of any steps to engage in rehabilitation and compensation to alleviate the unimaginable suffering of people, force an inevitable conclusion that all this is state-driven. Your stance is plunging the vast suffering populace in a state of hopelessness and helplessness. Such 'punitive' decimation of human rights and dignity shames democracy," the Governor said.

Cornering West Bengal Police, he stated that the administration and police of the state, in "such alarmingly grim situation" were expected to act in a stern manner and according to law, however, nothing of the kind happened.

"Their role suffers from partisan stance as also the abandonment of lawful obligations... I beseech you to reflect and ponder over the premise of ongoing violence, i.e. -- 'punishing' and 'disciplining' those who 'dared' to vote out of volition and for the opposition," he said.

Dhankhar noted that during his May 13-15 visits to poll violence-affected areas, people in Coochbehar, Nandigram and Ranpagli Camp in Assam narrated "heart-rendering tales and woes of arson, loot, rapes and killings apart from wanton destruction of property".

"Madam Chief Minister, you will agree that such a scenario sounds death knell for democracy. How can people be made to suffer for exercising right to vote in democracy?" he asked, adding that he expected that Banerjee will brief him on the post-poll violence and Cyclone Yaas disaster.

"It will be greatly appreciated that keeping in view our respective constitutional positions, an interaction fructifies on these issues at the earliest. Am sure you will accord priority to this," he added.

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Published on: Wednesday, June 16, 2021, 08:35 AM IST