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BJP, Trinamool spar over state approaching SC on post-poll violence

“The High Court has given the order and the CBI is investigating the matter. Why is the state government so scared? They are going to the Supreme Court to stop the investigation. They only say that the CBI is of no use and it cannot do anything. If this is true, then why are they scared of the CBI?”

IANS | Kolkata |

A day after the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government moved the Supreme Court challenging the CBI probe into the post-poll violence in the state, the BJP said on Thursday that afraid of the central probe agency, the state government has moved the apex court to save their face.

The Calcutta High Court had earlier directed the CBI to probe the serious cases of post-poll violence in the state that took place after the declaration of Assembly election results on May 2.

Speaking to reporters, state BJP President Dilip Ghosh said, “The High Court has given the order and the CBI is investigating the matter. Why is the state government so scared? They are going to the Supreme Court to stop the investigation. They only say that the CBI is of no use and it cannot do anything. If this is true, then why are they scared of the CBI?

“When she (Mamata Banerjee) was in the opposition, she used to demand CBI probe into everything. Now that she has become the Chief Minister, the central agencies like the CBI and the ED have suddenly turned bad. The government should stop this kind of double standard.”

The Trinamool Congress reacted immediately with party spokesperson Kunal Ghosh saying, “We don’t have any problem with the central agencies, but the Centre is using them only to throttle the voice of the opposition.”

On August 19, the Calcutta High Court had referred all the post-poll violence cases cited in the NHRC report about murder and rape to the CBI. The other cases were referred to a Special Investigation Team for a court-monitored probe. The SIT comprises three Bengal cadre IPS officers and its work will be reviewed by a retired SC judge. The state was also asked to cooperate with the CBI and the SIT.

The CBI has already started preliminary investigation into the cases. According to reports, few instances of negligence on part of the state police in treating the complaints of violence have already become evident.

The CBI sleuths have identified several inconsistencies in the FIRs filed by the state police, especially in cases of murder and rape. Hence, a number of state police officers have come under the scanner of the central probe agency.

Till now, the CBI has filed 31 FIRs, out of which six are related to rape, 15 related to murder and the remaining 10 are related to instances of molestation, murder threats, destruction of property and creating terror in the localities.

The CBI is supposed to submit its status report within six months. Initially, CBI officers thought that the status report would have about 84 FIRs. “But now it feels the number of FIRs to be mentioned in the status report will be much more than 100,” said a CBI official on condition of anonymity.