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MHA deputs two official to investigate Bengal violence

New Delhi: The Union Home Ministry on Thursday deputed a team of top bureaucrats to West Bengal for a fact-finding exercise on the post-poll violence in the state.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has deputed the team led by an Additional Secretary level official to visit the State and assess the ground situation.

“The team left this morning from New Delhi and is likely to begin its work in Kolkata shortly. It has been given 48 hours to come back with a report,” a MHA official said

MHA has sought a detailed report on the violence by the Bengal administration and cited that they have not received any update yet.

Sources said the team will meet top officials of the West Bengal police apart from the chief secretary and other bureaucrats in the administration.

It will also make field visits to some of the places where violence has been reported since Sunday and talk to affected families, sources added.

Violent incidents were reported a day after the ruling party Trinamool Congress got a landslide victory in the assembly election which led to alleged attacks on the BJP workers.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has alleged that TMC-backed goons have killed a number of its workers, attacked its women members, vandalised houses, looted shops of its members, and ransacked its offices.

Claiming that at least 14 BJP workers were killed and nearly one lakh people fled their homes in post-poll violence in West Bengal, party president J P Nadda alleged on Wednesday that the chief minister’s silence speaks of her involvement.

However, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee rejected the charges, saying violence and clashes were taking place in those areas where the BJP candidates emerged victorious in the election.

She had asked people on Sunday to show restraint and not indulge in any kind of violence.

Taking cognisance of the situation, Banerjee on Wednesday transferred 30 top officers, including DGP P Nirajnayan, in her first action after being sworn in again as Chief Minister, warning that violence of any kind will not be tolerated.

The chief minister brought back Virendra as DGP and Javed Shamim as ADG (Law and Order) — the two had been transferred by the Election Commission during the election period.

The administrative shake-up Wednesday included transfer of 29 IPS officers and one IAS, including DGP Nirajnayan (moved as DG, Fire Services) and ADG (Law and Order) Jagmohan (now DG, Civil Defence).

In an appeal, the chief minister asked all political parties to maintain peace and harmony.

“Bengal doesn’t tolerate unrest, nor do I. Starting today I will tackle the law and order,” Banerjee added.

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