Just days after West Bengal Governor met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the Centre on Saturday sought a report from the Mamata Banerjee government on measures taken to contain political violence and investigate such incidents of violence to arrest the culprits.
Pointing out the growing number of incidents of election related and political violence and casualties over four years from 2016 to 2019, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in issued an advisory saying that “unabated violence over the years is evidently a matter of deep concern."
According to the MHA, the number of incidents of political violence in West Bengal increased from 509 in 2016 to 1035 in 2018. More than 700 incidents of political violence has already occurred in 2019. Correspondingly, the death toll rose from 36 in 2016 to 96 in 2018 while 26 deaths have already took place in 2019 to date.
“The continued trend of political violence from 2016 through 2019, as evident from the above figures, is indicative of the failure on the part of the law enforcement machinery of the State to maintain the rule of law and to inspire a sense of security among the people. Government of India is seriously concerned over the prevalent situation in West Bengal," the advisory read.
“It is requested that a report may be sent to this Ministry on the steps taken by the State Government and its law enforcement machinery to investigate the incidents of violence to bring the culprits to book as also the measures taken to contain and curb violence," the MHA’s advisory to West Bengal government added.
This is the second such advisory sent by the Centre to the state, with the last one being dismissed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who claimed that there “was no law and order problem in Bengal."