‘Police seems to be a mute spectator’

‘Those who win bask in taking pictures, looting, throwing bombs and burning homes.’
Payal Singh Mohanka studies from Kolkata.

IMAGE: Bharatiya Janata Party President Jagat Prakash Nadda meets the household of BJP employee Abhijeet Sarkar who was killed in post-poll violence, Kolkata, May 4,2021. Photograph: ANI Photo


Tongues of fireplace leaping within the air and brutal photographs of blood-soaked victims assault the senses as post-verdict violence ravages a number of districts of West Bengal.

A day after Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee received a landslide victory and vanquished the Bharatiya Janata Party within the meeting election, disturbing information of mayhem emerged from completely different corners of the state: Arambagh, Cooch Behar, South 24 Parganas, Midnapore, Bankura, Birbhum amongst others.

The chief minister had efficiently restrained her supporters from celebrating their victory until the Covid scenario was introduced underneath management, however her enchantment for peace had no influence.

Mamata Banerjee mentioned she would take cost after she is sworn in as chief minister on Wednesday.

This raises a pertinent query. Where does the buck cease? Why would the brand new chief minister await the oath-taking ceremony to take cost? Some consider that the Election Commission is in cost within the interval between the decision and the swearing-in.

But that is clearly not the case. Law and order stay with the state even when the elections are on. Only election-related issues are inside the EC’s purview.

It is unusual that in different areas it has been enterprise as typical for the TMC.

On May 4, a day earlier than Banerjee’s swearing-in, the board of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation was reinstated submit the TMC’s victory.

How can the TMC absolve itself of the abysmal regulation and order scenario within the districts?

IMAGE: Trinamool Congress supporters. Photograph: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

Charges and counter-charges have been hurled. The TMC and BJP proceed the blame recreation whereas violent goons wreak havoc. Close to 20 deaths have been attributed to political clashes.

A senior police officer within the state confessed that the Daily Situation Report, which they obtain from districts, had merely talked about ‘sporadic incidents of violence are being investigated.

There was no point out of deaths. Details of the horror have been being seen within the media and social media.

Is the administration distancing itself and simply wanting away? Or as TMC supporters declare it’s principally ‘pretend information’ going viral?

Unfortunately, Bengal has an unsavoury historical past of post-poll violence.

During the Left rule too post-verdict celebrations typically degenerated into skirmishes.

“But this time the violence is of a different magnitude. Those who win indulge in shooting, looting, throwing bombs and burning houses. The Left Front did not use the State apparatus as a tool to suppress the opponent. Today, the police seems to be a mute spectator,” says a retired bureaucrat.

Political clashes see native degree enmities erupt. Tempers have run excessive over the month-long election marketing campaign.

Offices of the vanquished are burnt down to convey a menacing message. There is a worry psychosis.

There are makes an attempt to beat opponents into submission. In the crossfire, it’s harmless, hapless youth who lose their lives. Often the only bread-winners.

While this time, the violence seems to have been given a communal overtone, this isn’t a phenomenon that Bengal often witnesses.

“Instead of caste and communal violence like in many other parts of India, Bengal has ‘party-centric’ violence,” explains political scientist Maidul Islam. “Every individual is judged on the basis of which party they vote for, support or are actively involved with the political campaign.”

“This has been the trend in the last two to three decades,” provides Islam. “The space of a neutral and independent civil society is shrinking with the emergence of what we refer to as a party society.”

Bengal waits for normalcy to resume after the swearing-in on Wednesday morning.

Those who gave the TMC an awesome mandate certainly consider that violence is non-negotiable and the responsible regardless of political affiliations ought to be punished.

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