No sign of waning of political violence in West Bengal: Governor

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Kolkata, Nov 19 (PTI) West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Thursday said political killings are continuing unabated in the state, and the chief minister, chief secretary and the DGP have not issued any 'firm directive' to the police and administration to be 'politically neutral' despite his insistence.

In a video uploaded on Twitter, the governor, who has been at loggerheads with the Trinamool Congress government since he assumed office in July 2019, claimed that the administration has become so politicised that it is difficult to uphold the democratic system in the state.

'There is no sign of waning of political violence, political vendetta and political killings and I fear that the number of such deaths may go up to three-digit numbers,' he said.

The governor said that he has been repeatedly cautioning the government, chief secretary and the director general of police (DGP) on these issues, but they have not issued any 'firm directive' so far.

When the 'situation went totally out of control', the governor said, he had written to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on November 15 that government officials cannot work as political workers.

In the letter, Dhankhar said, he had written that it will be a huge challenge for the democratic system if government officials work as political workers.

'It is imperative ?@MamataOfficial? to observe political neutrality. So far unfortunately inspite of my insistence CM, CS and DGP ? @WBPolice ? have not issued firm directive to police and administration to be politically neutral, he said in a tweet along with the video.

Holding that political opponents of the ruling party in the state are being slapped with false criminal cases, including drug-related crimes, Dhankhar had in the letter called for an 'incisive audit' of all cases, under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, registered by the police since 2016.

The governor had written that implication of innocents in false criminal cases was too serious a matter to be overlooked. PTI AMR MM MM