West Bengal, India: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has released a press statement welcoming the Calcutta High Court’s order to transfer the probe in the incidents concerning the violence which occurred during Ram Navami celebrations in the state to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
On April 27, the Calcutta High Court ordered the West Bengal Police to hand over all documents including FIRs, case papers, seized materials, footages, etc concerning the violence to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
VHP’s national spokesperson Vinod Bansal said in the press statement, “VHP Central Joint General Secretary Dr. Surendra Jain said today that it has become clear that the attacks on Ram Navami processions were not a reaction but a planned one. Stoking of stones and petrol from petrol pumps in mosques and houses of Muslims society, violent mobs coming out of Muslim settlements with weapons, deadly attacks on Hindus, setting houses, shops on fire and vandalizing vehicles cannot happen spontaneously. These were done in a planned and deliberate manner. This is nothing less than a terrorist incident.”
“That’s why it is necessary to have a comprehensive investigation into the people who planned it, from where the weapons were brought, who all were involved, which only the NIA can do. The Bengal Police has become a puppet in the hands of the rioters. He demanded that the role of Mamta Banerjee and her party should also be investigated in these attacks on Hindu society,” the press statement continued.
The press statement claims that Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s statements on the eve of Ram Navami celebrations emboldened the attackers and incited them to carry out attacks against Hindus. The press statement reads, “He said that the incident may have been done by anyone but its inspiration was certainly given by the Chief Minister of Bengal Mamta ji, such a belief has been created in the entire country. The kind of threats she issued to the ever-suffering Hindu society in Bengal on the eve of Ramanavami, emboldened the attackers and incited them to carry out violent attacks. The role of police in these attacks is of grave concern.”
“Unfortunately. The police, that is duty bound to protect the victims, not only did not come to protect the victims, but also, instead of arresting the rioters, framed the people who were being targeted by the rioters. It was with great difficulty that some of them have been able to get bail,” the press statement added.
Furthermore, the press statement draws parallels between the Ram Navami violence and the “Great Kolkata Killings” where “Muslim mobs used to attack and massacre Hindus.” The statement reads, “Dr. Surendra Jain said that this whole scene is reminiscent of the “Great Kolkata Killings” when a Muslim mobs used to attack and massacre Hindus, and the police there either followed by Suhrawardy’s instructions or sided with the rioters. It seems as though Mamta Banerjee has taken up the role of Suhrawardy, and goes to any extent to persecute Hindu society in order to appease her vote bank.”
The press statement expressed hope that an NIA investigation incident would bring out the truth and that the culprits will be caught and punished. Furthermore, the statement urges NIA to investigate the role of Mamata Banerjee in the Ram Navami violence.
The press statement concluded, “The Joint General Secretary of VHP also said that at present all the three ‘Ma’ ‘Mati’ & ‘Manush’ are the target of Islamic Jihadis in Bengal. Mamta Banerjee should keep in mind that she should not allow atrocities on Hindu society just to keep her vote bank intact. Her duty is to ensure protection of society, not to don the role of Suhrawardy. The entire Hindu society of Bengal expects her to discharge her responsibilities and not lead Bengal towards ruin. If she sincerely wants to make Bengal in to ‘Sonar Bangla’, she will have to take all sections of the society along.”
Calcutta High Court Transfers Probe to NIA
The Calcutta High Court ordered the West Bengal Police to hand over all documents including FIRs, case papers, seized materials, footage, etc concerning the violence to the NIA on April 27. The Court said, “We are convinced that no useful purpose would be served by directing the State Police to register cases against those, who used acid bottles and petrol bombs etc under the Explosive Substances Act as the matter has travelled beyond that stage and it is fit case to transfer the investigation to the NIA.”
The Court noted that according to IC Serampore Police’s report, the mob “started to assault police personnel with bamboo sticks, iron rods, stones, bricks, swords, displaying fire arms with a view to kill police personnel and therefore police team used mild force upon the unlawful mob to disperse them and during the time of dispersal the mob stole some body protecting equipment of police personnel as a result of which several policemen received bleeding injuries on their person and head. In the other seizure lists which have been drawn on 03.04.2023 records seizure of swords.”
The Court said, “Thus, from the above facts it is evidently clear that despite the offences being committed under the Act mentioned in the schedule to the NIA Act, no case has been registered under the provisions of such Act. It raises a series doubt in our minds as to whether this was a deliberate attempt by the investigating police fighting shy of resorting to the procedure required to be complied with under Section 6(1) of the NIA Act.”
The Court said that the state police has underplayed the true state of affairs as the police have been directed to transfer the probe to the NIA in more than 8 cases. The Court said, “the state police having been directed by this Court in more than 8 orders to transfer the matter to the NIA, in the present incidents they have under played the true state of affairs which in our view should not be permitted.”
The Court observed on the genuine apprehensions of devotees about violence on Hanuman Jayanti celebrations, “Considering the fact that there was a genuine apprehension in the mind of the public as brought on record by the writ petitioner in WPA No. 151 of 2023 apprehending serious violence during Hanuman Jayanti, the court had to direct central agency to be deployed which our direction was complied with and it appears that the Hanuman Jayanti festival passed off without any serious incidents.”
Furthermore, the Court said that it prima-facie found that there was a deliberate attempt of the police to not register offences under the Explosive Substances Act. The Court said, “we prima facie find that there has been a deliberate attempt on the part of the concerned police not to register any offence under the provisions of the Explosives Substances Act. There is also mention about the acid bottles and if be so, necessarily offence under the scheduled Act having been committed, the procedure under Section 6(1) of the NIA Act should have been resorted to.”
The Court concluded, “In the result, the writ petitions are disposed of by directing the concerned police to ensure that all the FIRs, documents, materials seized, CCTV footage etc. be immediately handed over to the appropriate authority of the National Investigation Agency who on receipt of all the entire materials shall commence investigation and proceed in accordance with law.” Furthermore, the Court stated that the police shall hand over the materials to the NIA within a period of two weeks from the order’s date.