The assembly election in West Bengal in 2021 saw a lot of violence during and after the polls. Many houses were reportedly vandalised and many workers threatened to leave their households. Several people were captured and beaten up and many rape cases have been registered.
“The Commission has received and registered 19 cases under the category of Rape/Attempt to rape in the year 2021 from the state of West Bengal during-and-post election. As per reports received from the police authorities, seven cases have been charge-sheeted after the intervention of NCW. Reports in 12 cases are yet to be received,” the Chairperson for the National Commission for Women (NCW), Rekha Sharma, told The Sunday Guardian.
The commission has received complaints of 19 rape cases during and after the election. North 24 Paragans reported 6 rape cases, while Kolkata reported 3 rape cases. Similarly, Burdwan and Cooch Behar reported 2 rape cases each. On the other hand, Dakshin Dinajpur, Howrah, Malda, Birbhum, Nadia, and West Medinipur have reported one rape case in each district respectively. As per various reports, the day when BJP national President J Nadda, expressed alarm over post-election violence in Bengal at a national executive committee meeting in Delhi, a BJP worker in Bengal’s Bhagabanpur was slashed to death with a sharp weapon allegedly by TMC workers. Also, The NHRC reported 64 rape and rape-attempt incidents to the Calcutta High Court. The CBI stated that it had registered 39 cases and was investigating four more, but that it had transferred 21 cases to the West Bengal Police Special Investigation Team due to a lack of evidence. However, later, the CBI told the Calcutta High Court that the agency had found no evidence in 21 rape and rape attempt cases as mentioned by the NHRC.
On August 19, the Calcutta High Court had ordered a court-monitored CBI probe into several rape cases, murder, and attempt to rape cases reported during the pols. The NHRC, the state government, and several other commissions and committees that had received complaints were also ordered—by a five-judge panel led by former acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal— to give overall records relevant to murder and crimes against women cases to the CBI.
The Calcutta High Court ordered the CBI to investigate cases involving the murder, rape, and attempted rape of multiple women on August 19, 2021. Many accused persons who were believed to be carrying deadly weapons vandalised and attacked many BJP workers’ homes, and some attempted to sexually assault the women who lived there. As per reports, many victims and their families were forced to flee their homes.