THE importance of the order of the honourable Calcutta High Court for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) enquiry into the post-poll violence in West Bengal has come at a time when a very larger section of the common people had begun wondering if any positive and concrete step would ever be taken in that regard at all or not. Many even suspected if the dictum ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ is true in this case as well. And then came the order by the five-judge bench asking the CBI to launch a thorough probe into the the terrible violence that gripped the State immediately after the results of legislative elections, and also setting up of a Special Investigating Team (SIT), too, to investigate all other cases -- followed by a sigh of relief of common people across India.
This development has its own great importance in the larger Indian scenario in which an ugly political tendency was taking roots of defiance of common sense and order -- by way of obstinate denial by Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Ms. Mamata Banerjee and her party of the wide-spread violence that targeted innocent people who chose to vote for some other party in the State elections. The honourable High Court order came when the common people had started wondering if a political haughtiness would snuff out the legal and moral issues.
The nation, therefore, must thank the honourable judges for their clear stand. The five-member bench also directed the West Bengal Government to render full cooperation to the investigators and allow them complete access to all official documents nd records. The bench stated in a no-nonsense manner that any dilly-dallying on this count would be taken seriously. And to make its thinking all the more clearly known to people, the honourable High Court accepted all the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission’s panel that had toured the State on a fact-finding mission.
This seals all the ways of TMC supremo Ms. Mamata Banerjee to defy the call of justice. Of course, one of her close confidants did say that an option to approach the Supreme Court was open to the State Government. Let us hope, Ms. Banerjee does not choose that path since that would yield no sensible outcome. Let us also hope, the West Bengal Government cooperates fully with the investigative proceedings in the coming six weeks within which the CBI must complete the probe and file a report to the High Court.
The fact of the matter cannot be denied that the reign of terror unleashed by goons after the legislative election results in the month of May had an ugly Talibanic flair, reminding many of the horrors of Partition or that of the exodus of the lakhs of members of the Pandit community from Kashmir thirty years ago -- pushed by goon gangs with a political agenda of community-purge. Some watchers of the situation also recalled the terror of what came to be known as the dark chapter of ‘Direct Action’ just prior to Partition in Calcutta. That ugly happening, too, was sponsored by the people in power at that time. Hence the unfortunate comparison.
All the details of the post-violence now will come out in public glare as the CBI and the SIT conduct investigations as per their respective mandates. Sensible and sensitive minds alone can realise the sense of relief common people felt across the country with this development. For, what was in question was not just stray cases of public disorder but an organised orgy of violence aimed meticulously against unsuspecting people whose crime was that they voted fearlessly and freely in the legislative elections. The reign of violence was created to plant a sense of terror among masses -- so that nobody would ever dare to vote against the TMC in future elections.
The nation must, therefore, thank the honourable High Court for taking the firm stand to teach a demonic political tendency a lesson of life. There is little doubt that all the perpetrators of crime in those dark days would be brought to justice -- along with the masterminds as well.