The NHRC today sent a notice to the West Bengal government and the state police chief over alleged failure of law enforcement agencies in protecting the liberty and dignity of people who have become victims of violence in Asansol-Raniganj area during Ram Navami celebrations.
Expressing serious concern over the situation, the National Human Rights Commission has issued the notice to the state's chief secretary, home secretary and the director general of police, seeking detailed reports in four weeks.
The rights panel in a statement said, it has also asked its Director General (Investigation) to depute a team headed by an officer not below the rank of an SSP to visit the disturbed areas of Asansol-Raniganj for spot investigation or inquiry to assess the actual situation and submit a report within three weeks.
The Asansol-Raniganj belt had witnessed clashes between two groups over Ram Navami celebrations, resulting in the death of one person. Two police officers were also injured in the clashes.
The NHRC said it has taken suo motu cognisance of reports alleging "failure of law enforcing agencies in protecting the right to life, liberty and dignity of the innocent people, who have become victims of violence in Asansol-Raniganj area of West Bengal since March 25".
"According to media reports, people, who dialled helpline 100 to seek police assistance, have stated that no police personnel came to help them. The unruly mob has destroyed the public and private properties.
"There are many families from different communities, as mentioned in the news report, who have lost everything in the ongoing violence," the Commission said in the statement.
However, reportedly, the Commissioner of Police of Asansol has said that the "situation is under control" and loud speakers are being used to spread awareness to scotch rumours and a large number of police personnel have been deployed in sensitive areas, it said.
The Commission added, "It is also stated in the news reports that according to many victims, the police just stood there for a while and then vanished when the crowd attacked the victims. Apart from this, people suffering from illness and pregnant ladies are the worst victims in the affected area."