The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) panel probing alleged post-poll violence in Bengal, in its report to the Calcutta High Court, has recommended a CBI inquiry into “grievous offences like murder and rape”.
After the report’s submission, a furious Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “A completely biased report has been submitted. Attempts are being made to discredit the state. Where was the Human Rights Commission when bodies were floating in the Ganges from rivers in Uttar Pradesh? Since the matter is pending in court, I will not comment. But false propaganda is going on about what did not happen. Uttar Pradesh, a BJP-ruled state, has been pardoned for seven murders. The Election Commission was in charge of the violence that took place before the vote. The BJP is not able to digest its loss in Bengal. So these allegations are being made for political purposes.” Chief Minister Banerjee also blasted the NHRC for allegedly leaking the findings of the report to the media, instead of first submitting the same to the court.
The NHRC panel in its report said that the situation in West Bengal is a manifestation of the “law of rule” instead of “rule of law”. The report has underlined how the retributive violence by supporters of the ruling party (Trinamool Congress) against supporters of the main opposition party resulted in disruption of life and livelihood of thousands of people and their economic strangulation.
To compound the problem, violence and intimidation has continued. There is palpable fear among victims against police and goons of the ruling party. Many displaced persons have not yet been able to return to their homes and resume their normal life and livelihood. There have been several sexual offences, but the victims are scared to speak out. Loss of faith in state administration among victim is very evident, it said. The report was submitted as directed by the High Court after visiting several places in the alleged post-poll violence-hit state.
Neither senior officers nor political leaders condemned the violence, visited the spots, assuaged the victims or did anything substantive to ameliorate the problems. People were left on their own to protect the violation of their human and fundamental rights, including the right to life, it added. The spate of violence shows a pernicious politico-bureaucratic-criminal nexus. Moreover, this violence also attacked some pillars of democracy including rule of law, fair and secure polling. The commission has recommended compensation to the family members of those injured or dead. Condemning the role of the state in practice, the commission said, “Not arresting criminals is a terrible trend. It will spread to other states. It will bury the last straw in the coffin of democracy. It is being watched by one billion people in our country.”
The NHRC, in its recommendation, said that there is a need to provide justice to victims and restore their confidence in the criminal justice system, which can be best rendered by a neutral agency. It is recommended that all heinous cases, including murder, deaths, rape and grievous hurt and complaints should be transferred to the CBI for investigation.
NHRC team also said that trials of all above cases investigated by the CBI should be held outside the state. A court-monitored SIT should be formed immediately consisting of senior supervisory IPS officers and others. The SIT should register cases and complaints which prima facie reveal commission of a cognizable offence, other than those being entrusted to the CBI as per the above recommendation and all the cases investigated by the SIT should be monitored by the court, it added. A special team of public prosecutors should be attached to the SIT to monitor the quality of investigation, collection of evidence, placing of charge-sheet in courts and to follow up the trial in courts to ensure convictions, it said
NHRC on Tuesday afternoon submitted its final report on the alleged post-poll violence in West Bengal during hearing of the case by a five-judge bench of Calcutta High Court. NHRC refuted allegations in a section of the media regarding the leakage of the report relating to alleged post-poll violence in West Bengal. NHRC released a press statement and said that it has already shared the copy of the said report with the advocates of the parties concerned in this matter in accordance with the directions of the Calcutta High Court. The matter being sub-judice, the committee of the NHRC did not share its report with any entity other than those specified by the court. Since the report is already available with all the parties concerned as per the directives of the court, there is no question of leakage at the level of the NHRC, it said. The attribution regarding the alleged leakage of the said report to the NHRC is absolutely baseless and factually incorrect, it added.
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BILL AND MELINDA GATES ARE OFFICIALLY DIVORCED
WASHINGTON: The divorce between Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates has been finalised. As per CNN report, filing with the King County Superior Court in Washington made the move official. Melinda French Gates filed the petition for divorce in King County, Washington.
Bill and Melinda announced in May that they would be ending their marriage after 27 years, saying, “we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”
However, the duo said they will continue to work together at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Meanwhile, the foundation said last month that the organisation was planning a two-year trial period to see if the pair could continue working together effectively.
“If after two years either decide they cannot continue to work together as co-chairs, French Gates will resign her position as co-chair and trustee,” CEO Mark Suzman said. In the weeks following the initial announcement of the divorce, Bill faced allegations of questionable workplace conduct in the early years at Microsoft.
BLINKEN ANNOUNCES US REFUGEE ADMISSIONS PROGRAMME FOR AFGHAN NATIONALS
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced a US refugee admissions programme Priority 2 designation for Afghan nationals on Monday. The US is weeks away from completing military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Blinken, during a press briefing, said, “The State Department is announcing a new resettlement program for Afghans who assisted the United States, but who do not qualify for special immigrant visas. We’ve created a Priority-2 or P-2 designation, granting access to the US refugee admissions program for many of these Afghans and their family members.”
He said that even as the US forces withdraw from Afghanistan, the US will remain deeply engaged with the country.
“We’ll continue to work toward an Afghanistan, where all Afghans can live in safety and security, and we will continue our support for Afghan institutions, and for the gains that the Afghan people have made over the past 20 years,” said Blinken.
“We will keep engaging intensely in diplomacy to advance negotiations between the Afghan government, the Taliban, with the goal of a political solution, which we believe is the only path to lasting peace. And we’ll keep working closely with countries in the region, which all have a stake in a stable, peaceful, democratic Afghanistan,” he stated.
Blinken said that Afghans who work with the United States or the International Security Assistance Force at some point since 2001 are facing acute fears of persecution or retribution that will likely grow as coalition forces leave the country.
He further added that “We have a special report the responsibility to these individuals. They stood with us. We will stand with them. Over the past 13 years, the State Department has issued more than 73,000 Special Immigrant Visas to eligible Afghans who have helped the United States, and also to their families. We’ll continue to welcome Afghan immigrants and refugees as our neighbours in gratitude for helping us, despite the danger. We won’t forget it.”
AFGHAN PRESIDENT GHANI’S TIME HAS RUN OUT: TALIBAN
KABUL: Taliban said that Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani’s “time has run out” on Monday. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, while reacting to Ghani’s remark that the ongoing war is an external intrigue imposed on the people of Afghanistan, accused the President of lying and spreading false information.
A tweet by Mujahid said that his (Ghani’s) time is over and the announcement of warfare will not survive him. “Speech by @ashrafghani is nonsense, an attempt to control his fears & dire situation. Nation has decided to pursue & bring national traitors to justice. Declarations of war, accusations & lies cannot prolong Ghani’s life, his time has run out, God willing,” said Mujahid.
INDIA WANTS PEACEFUL RELATIONS, ONUS IS ON PAKISTAN: TIRUMURTI
WASHINGTON: India’s Permanent Representative to United Nations, T.S. Tirumurti said that India desires to have peaceful and normal relations with Pakistan but in an atmosphere free from terror.
The Indian Ambassador to the UN informed that issues between the two countries should be resolved in an atmosphere free from terror, hostility, and violence and the onus is on Pakistan to create such an environment. “Pakistan should take credible and verifiable action not to allow any territory under their control to be used for cross border terrorism against India,” said Tirumurti. He also informed that India wants to keep a spotlight on counter-terrorism.
US-China seek alignment of Afghan interests: Ned Price
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price has said that China’s interest in Afghanistan could be ‘an alignment of interest’ when it comes to what the US and China seek in Afghanistan.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) interest in Afghanistan could be “an alignment of interest” when it comes to what the US and China seek in Afghanistan, said US State Department spokesperson Ned Price on Monday. “There’s an alignment of interest in at least some areas when it comes to what we seek, what China seeks and what the broader international community seeks in Afghanistan,” Price told ANI on being asked what is US’ assessment of meeting between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Taliban delegation led by its Chief Negotiator Abdul Ghani Baradar.
Experts say thay although the US might once have fiercely resisted Chinese attempts to increase their influence inside Afghanistan, now Washington’s priority appears to keep away a civil war. Spokesperson Price also affirmed that is in no one’s interest to see Afghanistan descend into an all-out civil war. “It is in everyone’s interest to see a solution to the conflict that is just as durable as Afghan-led, and Afghan Owned,” he concluded.
AMID COVID PANDEMIC, PMGKY REDUCES WORRIES OF THE POOR: PM MODI
Gandhinagar: Annotsav Day was celebrated on Tuesday on the occasion of the completion of five years of the Rupani government, as part of which a state-level program was organized in Dahod district in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a virtual dialogue with the beneficiaries of the grain welfare scheme. He asked whether the beneficiaries of Dahod and Rajkot have any problem in taking up the scheme or not. Modi said in a dialogue with the beneficiaries that the poor would get free foodgrains till Diwali. Modi praised the performance of the Gujarat government.
Prime Minister’s Poor Welfare Food Scheme is being praised all over the world. More than Rs 2 crore is being spent by the government under this scheme. The aim is that not a single person in India goes to bed hungry. Under this scheme, ration cardholders are being given double the amount of foodgrains than before. The plan is to run till Diwali.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday addressed the beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana and said this scheme has reduced the worries of the poor and increased their confidence. Three and a half crore beneficiaries in Gujarat are getting the benefit of free foodgrains. “I commend the Gujarat government for this. Preference is given to workers from other parts of the country. Workers have benefited from this scheme. Gujarat is the first to offer the benefit of One Nation One Ration Card,” said the Prime Minister.
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