August 06, 2020
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Bengal's Black Renaissance

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Bengal's Black Renaissance
Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya may not like this one. But in West Bengal, one can get away with blue murder.

Almost every suspect arrested on a murder charge is released. Only in a small fraction of the cases did the police prepare chargesheets. As for convictions, only 27 people have been punished, while 4,177 people were killed in the past 34 months. At this rate, the chances that the next of kin of those killed will secure justice in their lifetime are dim.

And the cops have fared no better in reining in other crimes. In the mid-’90s, there were around 80,000 non-bailable warrants to be served in one year. Not one was processed, because the police "could not find the accused". This, when people from the districts had complained that they were being terrorised by criminals who roam around freely. Ironically, the number of policemen in the state is around 80,000. Add to this the steady erosion of discipline in the police force, thanks to its unionisation, and Bengal seems worse off than Bihar.

"Bengal is an oasis of peace" is no longer a credible statement.

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