Victims of human rights violations in West Bengal on Thursday took out a march to state secretariat ‘Nabanna’ to protest against the government’s failure to look into the issue of victims of alleged state-sponsored violence.
The protest march, taken out by the forum ‘Amra Akranto’ (We The Victims) to the state secretariat, was stopped midway at Bangabasi More in Howrah by police, said forum member and Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra.
He said the state government is not giving importance to the issue despite directives from President Pranab Mukherjee and the home ministry.
"The aim of this protest march was to make people aware about these issues. But Nabanna is not giving us any importance. It would be wrong to say it is not giving us importance… it is not even giving importance to the country’s president and the union home ministry," said Mahapatra.
He also said the forum’s members had gone to Delhi on December 9, 2014 and submitted a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee.
"We had listed 24 major incidents. We informed him that it is not just the 24 incidents, there are many more such incidents. We had requested him to take some steps so that the common man can get justice," he said, adding that Mukherjee had forwarded the letter to the union home ministry.
The home ministry in January had forwarded the letter to the state government and had subsequently sent two reminders.
"We were a bit relieved that the home ministry had sent a letter to the chief secretary and had asked them to take some measures. We had hoped the chief secretary will meet us. But they did not take any action so we requested an appointment with the chief secretary which was ignored," said Mahapatra.
Mahapatra was arrested in 2012 for circulating e-mails mocking West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and then railway minister Mukul Roy.