No concrete action by state to reach out to post-poll violence victims: Bengal Governor

West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who recently visited many districts that reported violence after the Trinamool Congress swept the assembly polls, told ET that incidents of targeted violence and vandalism have left many people helpless, and the victims were left with no courage even to seek help from the police. Many who were targeted on the basis of their religion were living under fear and were even willing to change their religion, he claimed.

He said the state has made no moves to address the post poll violence by way of sanctioning compensation or looking at rehabilitation or initiating confidence building measures till now, and that though he had called the DGP, the Commissioner of Police, Kolkata, and the ACS Home and directed them to give him an update on the state of affairs, no reports have been made available to him.

While the BJP has claimed that the number of its workers who were killed after the results were announced is 24, the TMC has put the number at 14. Of this, it says four were from the TMC.

Over the last three days, the governor met the violence-affected people who took shelter at camps in Kendemari, Bankim More, Chilagram, Nandigram Bazar and Town Club in Nandigram. On Thursday, he visited various places in Cooch Behar, and visited a camp in Assam’s Ranpagli, where several families of BJP supporters have taken shelter who faced post-poll atrocities.

“The diagnosis of such violence is to teach a lesson and instil a mortal sense of fear in those who ‘dared’ to vote as per their volition, and against the ruling party. I had never ever imagined that the situation would worsen so much that I will have people pleading that they will change their religion and asking me for help just so that they can live,” he said.

Dhankhar claimed lakhs have fled from their homes fearing death, and said women have had to face the brunt of the violence.

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