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Calcutta HC Orders DNA Test on Victim Abhijit Sarkar in West Bengal Post Poll Violence

West Bengal Post Poll Violence:

While hearing a plea in the West Bengal post-poll violence, the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday (July 13, 2021) has ordered a DNA test on the body of Abhijit Sarkar after his brother Biswajit Sarkar reportedly could not identify the body. 

Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani told a five-judge bench of the High Court that his client, Biswajit Sarkar, brother of the deceased, was unable to say with certainty whether the body was that of his brother Abhijit since it was badly mutilated. 

“My client wants a DNA test to be conducted to know whether the body is that of his brother or not,” Jethmalani said.

The High Court then directed that the samples will be collected at the Command Hospital and sent to Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) Kolkata for analysis and the examination report must be submitted within seven days to the High Court. This comes after the High Court had earlier asked for a second autopsy for Abhijit Sarkar. 

“The second autopsy of deceased Abhijit Sarkar, whose body was lying in hospital be undertaken by a team of doctors in the Command Hospital, Kolkata,” the court ordered. 

Y.J Dastoor, Additional Advocate General, apprised the Calcutta High Court that an autopsy of the deceased had been conducted and the report was being prepared and the same shall be submitted to the Calcutta High Court in a sealed cover.

The Calcutta High Court had also ordered a probe to be conducted by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) into the incidents of the post-poll violence which started after the election trends indicated the victory of Trinamool Congress on May 2. The High Court stressed that the West Bengal Government has failed to build confidence among the affected persons to return to their homes or carry on their occupation. 

Biswajit Sarkar, brother of the deceased, told NHRC that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supporters attacked and vandalized their house and the local BJP office which was located nearby on May 2. He said that his brother and their mother were assaulted, and the attackers tied a cable television wire around Abhijit’s neck and dragged him along the road till he died. Biswajit Sarkar said that the incident took place shortly after the local TMC candidate, Paresh Pal, was declared the winner in the assembly polls. 

The NHRC team which was investigating the incidents of post-poll violence in Jadavpur was also intimidated and attacked on June 30. Following this, the Calcutta High Court on July 2 also issued a show-cause notice for contempt of court proceedings against DCP South Kolkata Rashid Munir Khan for failing to prevent obstruction to the team of the NHRC. 

The High Court's five-judge bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal, Justice I.P. Mukerji, Justice Harish Tandon, Justice Soumen Sen, and Justice Subrata Talukdar also directed the Mamata Banerjee-led state government to ensure medical treatment of all victims and to ensure ration for the affected even if they do not have ration cards. It also ordered the West Bengal Chief Secretary to collect and preserve all documents related to the incidents.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) also submitted its final report on the post-poll violence to the High Court on Tuesday in five sealed boxes. It had earlier given an interim report based on which the court had held that the allegations of post-poll violence were true. The five-Judge Bench asked the NHRC to give a copy of the final report to the state and petitioners. 

The matter has been listed for hearing on July 22, 2021.

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