Updated April 23rd, 2024 at 17:53 IST

'Won’t Allow Polls in Seats That Witnessed Communal Violence': Calcutta High Court

Calcutta High Court warns it won’t allow polls in seats that witnessed communal violence during Ram Navami

Reported by: Isha Bhandari
'Won’t Allow Polls in Seats That Witnessed Communal Violence': Calcutta High Court | Image:PTI
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The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday warned against allowing voting in Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal marred by communal violence during Ram Navami celebrations. The bench, led by Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam, expressed grave concern over the disturbances, particularly citing the violence in Murshidabad on April 17.

The bench's remarks, delivered during a hearing on the Murshidabad violence, underscored a zero-tolerance stance toward communal unrest. "If people can't live in peace and harmony, we will say that the Election Commission can't hold parliamentary elections in these districts. That's the only way," emphasized the bench.

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Expressing dismay over the inability to maintain order despite the Model Code of Conduct being in force, the court questioned the efficacy of law enforcement, especially in comparison to the peaceful Ram Navami celebrations in Kolkata. The bench highlighted the stark contrast, noting the absence of violence in the capital city.

During the proceedings, the bench inquired about the progress of arrests related to the violence, learning that the CID had assumed control of the investigation. Expressing dissatisfaction, the court proposed recommending to the Election Commission of India that areas plagued by unrest should be excluded from the electoral process.

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While refraining from issuing immediate orders to defer elections, the High Court hinted at proposing the deferment of polls in Berhampore, within the Murshidabad district. Furthermore, the court directed the state police to furnish a comprehensive report on the communal clashes, indicating a commitment to thorough investigation and resolution.

The next hearing will take place on Friday, April 26.

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With inputs from PTI…

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Published April 23rd, 2024 at 17:53 IST