A team of the National Commission for Women (NCW) led by chairperson Rekha Sharma visited Nadia district in West Bengal to inquire about the alleged atrocities on women during the recently concluded panchayat elections in the state.

Sharma said all human rights were under threat in West Bengal. She also criticised the West Bengal government led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and accused the state police of not cooperating with the women’s rights body with matters related to violence against women.

“Is it #WestBengal government’s policy to transfer police personals after every episode of police apathy and atrocities? @MamataOfficial ji pl look into the matter of Nadia dis. Panchayat Elections voilence on women because police just don’t work for poor in your state,” Sharma wrote on Twitter.

 

“West Bengal is in bad shape. All human rights are under threat. Women in large no. Suffered all kinds of voilence in last elections,” she added while tagging the official Twitter handles of Banerjee, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of Women and Chief Development.

Sharma, who visited Shantipur police station in Nadia, alleged that the NCW committee was denied access to copies of FIRs.

“I am sitting in Shanti pur thana, Nadia dist. Of West Bengal and asked for the papers concerning a rape case and a murder case and police has denied. Even after showing the act of NCW the inspector is not buzzingTotal anarchy,” alleged Sharma in her strongly worded comment.

“Nowhere in India we have seen Dy. SP declining to provide files of accused on Gang rape & Murder in recent poll related violence..is Police here to save criminals?” she wrote.

 

The rampant violence during the panchayat elections reportedly left around six people dead and scores injured. Violence was particularly intense in North 24 Parganas, Burdwan, Coochbehar and South 24 Parganas districts. TV news channels aired footages showing goons brandishing weapons.

The 14 May violence was widely covered by media outlets. Visuals showed ballot boxes being carried away, supporters of various political parties clashing, booth capturing and widespread rigging.

Bombs were also reportedly hurled at some places, including at cops in Uluberia. At least five journalists were also injured in the violence.

Trinamool leader Derek O’Brien, however, appeared to play down the ongoing political violence by comparing the same to the violence during the Left Front rule. The Rajya Sabha MP  also alleged that both the BJP and the CPI(M) had joined hands with the Maoists.

Read More: Bengal panchayat polls: Six dead, Derek O’Brien says BJP, CPI(M) behind violence

Following the arson and violence, the State Election Commission (SEC) ordered re-poll in 572 booths in 19 districts following recommendations of the district magistrates.

It was learnt the commission had received recommendations for re-polling in more than 1000 booths.

“This might be highest ever number of booths for re-polling since 1980 when the first rural polls were held in the state. During the five-phase panchayat elections in 2013, re-polls were held in around 100 booths,” sources in the SEC said on 16 May.

All the opposition parties in the state – Congress, BJP and the Left front – criticised Mamata Banerjee’s rule. Congress also posted a cartoon slamming Banerjee.

“Chere diyechi rong ar tuli; thik korechi unnoyoner name voter dine marbo boma, chalabo gola guli (I have left the colours and the brushes. In the name of development, I will launch bombs and bullets on voting day),” the cartoon shows Banerjee as saying.

Read More: Congress mocks Mamata Banerjee over violence in Bengal panchayat polls

In its comment, the Congress alleged that democracy had become a victim of violence in the polls.

The Home Ministry asked the Trinamool Congress government in the state to send a detailed report on the panchayat polls violence. The government had initially sent a report which the Centre dubbed “sketchy”.

Read More: Centre asks Mamata govt to send another report