Basirhat judicial probe

Mamata Banerjee today set up a judicial commission to probe clashes in Basirhat and Baduria that were triggered by a Facebook post and then escalated.

By Our Special Correspondent in Calcutta
  • Published 9.07.17
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Calcutta, July 8: Mamata Banerjee today set up a judicial commission to probe clashes in Basirhat and Baduria that were triggered by a Facebook post and then escalated.

Officials described the judicial probe as the first step that sets the stage for possible stringent action.

"We are setting up a judicial commission to conduct an independent inquiry into the Basirhat and Baduria incidents.... We want to know who had created the trouble and who spread the rumours. Action will be taken for spreading fake pictures and videos. The law will take its own course. No culprits would be spared," Mamata said.

"I congratulate the people of Bengal for not getting trapped by those spreading rumours and communal hatred. Peace has been restored," the chief minister added.

Later, it was announced that Soumitra Pal, a retired Calcutta High Court judge, would head the commission.

"Who were burning the Trinamul offices in Basirhat? I know they are backed by the RSS. We have blacklisted two organisations - both have connections with the BJP," the chief minister said.

Mamata blamed the BJP-led Centre for the violence that started on June 30 and spread rapidly. "The Centre controls the borders, not the state government. I want to know how some miscreants crossed the border and created trouble here," she said.

The chief minister said the administrative inputs received by the state government would be passed on to the judicial commission so that the actual culprits could be punished.

A state government official later said: "The intelligence inputs we received so far hint that some people with political affiliation were active during the violence. If police file cases directly against them, the state government could be accused of hatching a political conspiracy. If the names come out through a judicial commission, such an allegation would not wash and the suspects could be booked under serious charges."

The Mamata government also transferred several police officers who have had a role in handling the affairs in North 24-Parganas where Baduria and Basirhat are located.

In a series of transfers in the police administration, Ajay Ranade, IG (south Bengal), and Gangeswar Singh, ADG (IB), were transferred along with Bhaskar Mukherjee, the police superintendent of North 24-Parganas.

Tanmoy Chaudhuri, deputy director of the economic offences wing, has been posted to supervise the work of the North 24-Parganas police superintendent. "The move is quite unusual but Chaudhuri is a former SP of the district and he can guide the new SP for now," said a source.