No real change in Bengal, says state rights panel chief

Kolkata, Aug 19 : Coming down heavily on the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal, chairperson of the state's rights panel Justice (retd) Asok Kumar Ganguly Monday said the "change" said to be brought by the new regime was merely a "change in dress".

"There has been no change in governance in the real sense. Political ineffectiveness, nepotism, corruption, police inaction and use of muscle power in elections... In some areas it has even surpassed (what used to happen) during the Left Front rule. The change is only in the dress", the former Supreme Court judge said at an event.

He said that human rights violations also took place during the erstwhile Left Front regime.

"To protect the human rights of the people, the commission has to play the role of a watchdog, and that of a government's lapdog," said Ganguly.

The State Human Rights Commission has in the past made several recommendations against the Banerjee government directing payment of compensation to victims of human rights violations.

The commission earlier had ordered compensation in the case of Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra who was arrested for circulating e-mails mocking Banerjee.

Another notable case which drew the commission's ire was the arrest of a marginal farmer Shiladitya Chowdhury after he publicly tried to ask Banerjee about her government's policy towards farmers.

Despite the commission's recommendations, the state government is yet to act on them.

In the past, Justice Ganguly has criticised the state government for failing to check atrocities on women, saying "West Bengal has even surpassed Delhi in this respect".

--IANS (Posted on 20-08-2013)

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