The West Bengal government has criticised the National Human Rights Commission’s report to the Calcutta High Court on the post-Assembly election violence that erupted in the state in May, NDTV reported on Tuesday. The government described the report as false and biased.

The Trinamool Congress had won the bitterly-fought election. Violence broke out in the state after the results were declared, leading to the deaths of workers from the state’s ruling party as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party. Various news reports put the toll between 11 and 14, but the police did not confirm the numbers. Reports also emerged about sexual assaults on women.

On June 18, the High Court directed the National Human Rights Commission to set up a seven-member committee to investigate complaints related the violence. The court repeatedly criticised the West Bengal government’s handling of the matter.

In an affidavit filed before the court on Monday, the state government alleged that the committee was formed to “spearhead a witch hunt” against it, the Hindustan Times reported. “In conclusion it is stated that concerted efforts are being made by those behind the Committee to completely discredit a democratically elected state government.”

The West Bengal government told the court that members of the committee were either associated with the BJP or had a close connection with the central government. “Therefore, the credibility of the Committee inasmuch as they are expected to investigate in an unbiased and neutral manner is questionable,” the affidavit said.

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The Trinamool Congress government said the rights body had no power to recommend that the investigation of murder and rape cases registered in relation to post-poll violence be transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

“The committee has exceeded its mandate and in doing so, the committee has clearly demonstrated its bias,” the government said in its affidavit, according to the Hindustan Times.

The West Bengal government claimed that the National Human Rights Commission’s report on the violence “pertains to false allegations against the state administration, including the police”, NDTV reported.

The government refuted the rights body’s claim that violence in the state continued since the declaration of election results on May 2, The Hindu reported. “This impression is totally false, and the reality is starkly different,” the affidavit read. “After the declaration of results on 2 May 2021, some incidents of violence have occurred. But since the new Government has taken over on 5 May 2021, the number of incidents has drastically reduced and at present the number of incidents taking place are almost non-existent.”

The government urged the court to dismiss the report, according to NDTV.

A five-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court is likely to hear the case on Wednesday.