Mamata Vows Action Against Post-Poll Violence After Swearing In As Bengal CM

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Bengal post-poll violence will be tackled with due law and order, Mamata Banerjee said Wednesday after taking oath as the Chief Minister of West Bengal for her third term. “Our first priority is to control the COVID situation… I will tackle law and order from today and deal with these sternly. This is my second priority,” she was quoted saying.

Following the Trinamool Congress‘ massive win in the Vidhan Sabha election on May 2, violence broke out in the state with reports emerging of alleged rapes and killings of opposition party workers. Hashtags of ‘Bengal burning’ trended online as a section of netizens demanded answers from Banerjee and imposition of the President’s rule to curb the violence.

Visuals on social media show houses torched and people injured. More here. SheThePeople could not independently verify the authenticity of said visuals.

Authorities React As Bengal Post-Poll Violence Causes Unrest In The State

Both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and TMC have claimed party member fatalities. Some news reports put the number of deaths between 10 and 15, but authorities are yet to ascertain exact numbers. Bengal police have, in fact, busted claims of gangrapes against women in Nanoor saying they were fake.

“Since yesterday news on the rape of 2 women and molestation of some other women in Nanoor is being circulated on social media. We verified the information and also spoke to local BJP leaders, they’re unaware of any such incident,” Birbhum SP NN Tripathi said.

Following her oath-taking in the presence of Bengal Governor Jadgeep Dhankar, Banerjee asserted there was “no place for violence” in the state. Bengal is known for its volatility around elections, with a decades-long record of poll violence, despite the shift in political weather, from the CPM to the TMC.

The BJP, TMC’s primary contender with 77 seats, meanwhile has stepped up vocally against the rampant violence, with party President JP Nadda claiming Wednesday they “won’t step back from carrying out our duties.”

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Commission for Women (NCW) and National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) have taken cognisance of the Bengal post-poll violence, writing to authorities with regard to the security of vulnerable groups.