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Political violence in Bengal: 1,035 in 2018, 773 and counting this year

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New Delhi, June 16: The Centre which sought a report from the West Bengal Government on both the ongoing doctor's strike and political violence has said that this is clearly indicative of a failure.

The year 2016 reported 509 incidents of violence, while in 2018 it shot up to 1,035. The year 2019 alone has seen 773 incidents till date. In the past four years 160 deaths have been reported owing to political violence, the Centre also said.

Political violence in Bengal: 1,035 in 2018, 773 and counting this year

In an advisory, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told the West Bengal government that the continued trend of political violence from 2016 through 2019 is an indicative of the "failure" on the part of the law-enforcement machinery of the state in maintaining the rule of law and inspire a sense of security among the people.

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The government of India is seriously concerned over the prevalent situation in West Bengal, it said.

The "unabated violence over the years is evidently a matter of deep concern", the Centre said, pointing out the growing number of incidents of election-related and political violence and casualties during 2016-2019.

The MHA said that according to reports it received, the number of incidents of political violence in West Bengal increased from 509 in 2016 to 1,035 in 2018.

As many as 773 incidents have already occurred in 2019 till date. Correspondingly, the death toll rose from 36 in 2016 to 96 in 2018 while 26 deaths have already taken place in 2019 till date, according to the MHA.

"It is requested that a report may be sent to this Ministry on the steps taken by the state government and its law enforcement machinery to investigate the incidents of violence to bring the culprits to book as also the measures taken to contain and curb violence," the MHA's advisory to the Trinamool Congress government said.

In another advisory to the West Bengal government, the MHA sought a report urgently on the ongoing strike by the doctors.

In this advisory, the MHA said it has received a number of representations from doctors, healthcare professionals and medical associations from different parts of the country for their safety and security in view of the ongoing strike by doctors in West Bengal.

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"It is requested that a detailed report be sent urgently on the representations and ongoing strike by the doctors," it said.

Junior doctors in West Bengal are on a strike since Tuesday after two of their colleagues were attacked by the relatives of a patient who died at NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata.

Over 300 medicos across various state-run medical college and hospitals in West Bengal have resigned from their services. Doctors from the nation have expressed solidarity with their agitating colleagues.

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