West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose on Monday said incidents of violence in the run-up to the rural polls are “a reality and not fiction”, which he is focused on containing.
He said the ‘Peace Room’ has been set up at the Raj Bhavan primarily to establish that the common man of Bengal could live in peace, and exercise their franchise fearlessly.
"There have been certain instances. We are trying to contain those. We mean together, all the stakeholders, the state government, the SEC, all political parties, media and the silent majority. “Violence here (in West Bengal) is a reality and not a fiction. We have to contain and curb it. That's what I am focusing on," Bose said.
The governor was replying to queries on the need for a 'Peace Room’, which came about following his recent visits to violence-hit areas in Bhangore and Canning in South 24 Parganas district.
"Some miscreant elements have opened ‘war rooms’ in some places of the state... We want to establish that the common man will be able to live in peace and go to the polls without fear. That is why this ‘Peace Room’ has been set up as a bridge between the government and the common man," he said.
Bose said complaints received at the ‘Peace Room’ were not allegations but facts, as most of those are coming from the survivors of attacks and violence. "We are analysing the petitions received and sending those to the competent authorities... The ultimate objective is to see that this unhealthy trend is rooted out from the election scenario of Bengal," he said.
He said unprecedented situation demanded unprecedented action, and everything would be taken care of under the framework of the Constitution. According to a Raj Bhavan statement on Saturday, the 'Peace Room' was opened keeping "in view the numerous representations received from citizens on criminal intimidation in pre-poll Bengal".
The governor also made mention of the immediate steps taken by the State Election Commission (SEC) to beef up the security of Darjeeling MP Raju Bista, following a complaint received from him regarding threat to his life.
On the deployment of central forces for the July 8 panchayat elections, Bose said since the matter is in the Supreme Court, it would be better to wait for its verdict.