New Delhi: CPM leader Basudeb Acharia today utilised a discussion on human rights to put in the dock West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on a range of issues, including the recent controversial arrest of a farmer for asking her a question.
With no Trinamool Congress member present in the Lok Sabha, Acharia turned the debate into a Mamata-bashing exercise finding fault in her various actions since she came to power last year.
Initiating a discussion on effective steps to curb rising incidents of violation of human rights in the country, the CPM leader hit out at the West Bengal chief minister, without naming her, for arresting a farmer for questioning her at a public rally on rise in fertiliser prices.
Acharia said the chief minister dubbed the farmer as a Maoist and immediately got him arrested.
He pointed out that the Press Council of India chairman Markandeya Katju had described the chief minister as “dictatorial, intolerant and whimsical”.
Maintaining that the right to expression was a fundamental right, Acharia said this was a violation of human rights.
He also recounted the incident where in a Jadavpur University professor was arrested for circulating a cartoon.
Acharia said when the professor was manhandled by “TMC hoodlums”, the police picked him up and not the miscreant.
He pointed out that the State Human Rights Commission had made certain observations against the incident.
Acharia also said there was rise in incidents of human rights violations from 82,233 in 2006-07 to 90,446 in 2008-09.
Winding up the debate, Minister of State for Home Affairs Jitendra Singh said structures and institutions were in place to deal with all kinds of human right violations.
He said there was no need for the resolution as the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) was empowered to deal with such incidents.
Acharia, however, refused withdraw the resolution, which was later put to vote and negated.