West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar will embark on a week-long visit to North Bengal from Monday, within a week of a demand by certain BJP MPs for carving out a separate Union Territory for the region. His visit also comes within days of meeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah twice amid allegations of post-poll violence.
Leader of opposition in West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP, called on Dhankhar on Sunday and sought his intervention to stop the alleged post-poll violence and violation of human rights in the state. The governor on Sunday tweeted that he will embark on a week-long visit to North Bengal from June 21. He will proceed to Darjeeling from Bagdogra airport following a stopover at Kurseong.
Dhankhar, however, did not cite any reason for his visit. This will be the governor’s second trip to North Bengal in two months. Following the declaration of results of the West Bengal assembly elections, which the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress won with a huge majority, he had visited Cooch Behar following allegations of post poll violence.
He had also visited Ranpagli in neighbouring Assam where people had taken shelter owing to the “violence”. Adhikari “sought urgent intervention for worst ever post-poll violence and outrageous violation of human rights @MamataOfficial by implication in false cases all over state, the governor said in a Twitter post.
“LOP alleged complicity of state machinery @WBPolice @KolkataPolice in perpetration of gruesome violations of human rights. In barbaric and dastardly criminal acts there has been no investigation, much less arrest of culprits @MamataOfficial,” he tweeted. A fresh controversy has also erupted with BJP MP John Barla from Alipurduar demanding that North Bengal be made a Union territory, with party colleague and lawmaker from Jalpaiguri Lok Sabha seat, Jayanta Roy, coming out in support of it on June 15.
Roy has, however, clarified that the comments were made in their personal capacity. Accusing the BJP of trying to divide Bengal, Chief Minister Banerjee has asserted that such attempts will never succeed.
The governor went to Delhi on Tuesday, a day after a delegation of BJP MLAs petitioned him on the alleged deterioration of the law and order situation in the state. Dhankhar met Shah twice, on Thursday and on Saturday.
During the first meeting, he is believed to have briefed the home minister about the law and order situation in the state. During his five-day visit to Delhi, the governor also made courtesy calls to President Ram Nath Kovind and National Human Rights Commission chairperson Justice (retd) Arun Kumar Mishra.
Hours before his departure to the national capital, Dhankhar had written a letter to the chief minister alleging that she has been silent over post-poll violence in the state and has not taken steps to rehabilitate and compensate the “suffering people”. Dhankhar, who has been at loggerheads with the Trinamool Congress government in the state on several issues since taking over in July 2019, also accused the police and administration in the state of being partisan.
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