In its notice, the NHRC expressed serious concern over the alleged failure of law enforcement agencies in protecting the liberty and dignity of people who have become victims of violence in Asansol-Raniganj area.
National Human Right Commission on Monday issued a notice to Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government and asked its Director General (Investigation) to depute a team, headed by an officer not below the rank of an SSP, to visit the disturbed areas of Asansol-Raniganj for spot investigation. In its notice, the NHRC expressed serious concern over the alleged failure of law enforcement agencies in protecting the liberty and dignity of people who have become victims of violence in Asansol-Raniganj area. The NHRC also issued the notice to the state’s chief secretary, home secretary and the director general of police, seeking detailed reports in four weeks. The rights panel has given three weeks time to assess the actual situation and submit a report within three weeks.
The Asansol-Raniganj belt had witnessed clashes between two groups over Ram Navami celebrations, resulting in the death of one person. Two police officers were also injured in the clashes. In its summon, the rights body said it has taken suo motu cognisance of reports alleging “failure of law enforcing agencies in protecting the right to life, liberty and dignity of the innocent people, who have become victims of violence in Asansol-Raniganj area of West Bengal since March 25”.
The Commission, citing media reports, said people who dialled helpline 100 to seek police assistance, have stated that no police personnel came to help them. “The unruly mob has destroyed public and private properties,” it said in the summon.
“There are many families from different communities, as mentioned in the news report, who have lost everything in the ongoing violence,” the Commission said in the statement.
The NHRC further stated that Commissioner of Police of Asansol has said that “situation is under control” and loud speakers are being used to control the situation.
The Commission added that police just stood at the scene of the violence for a while and then vanished when the crowd attacked victims. Apart from this, people suffering from illness and pregnant ladies were the worst victims in the affected area, it added.