West Bengal: Communal clashes in Baduria over “blasphemous” facebook post, Mamta blames BJP for inciting violence

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Communal clashes erupted in the area close to the Indo-Bangla border after a youth, Sourav Sarkar from Rudrapur, allegedly uploaded an inflammatory post on his Facebook account which went viral and hurt the sentiment of a minority community on Sunday leading to a clash.

Agitated mob burns tyres on road (Photo : IANS)

Several shops and houses allegedly destroyed and at least six police vehicles were torched by a angry mob in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district over the past two days after the FB post went viral.

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Later that day, Sourav fled at night, he was later arrested by the police from a paddy field on Monday morning. The accused has been remanded by the Basirhat Sub-Division Court in the police custody for four days.

Sourav, the hindu student of class 11 was the target of the mob, he was arrested, but vandalism continued throughout Monday and Tuesday. The administration did not inform people about the arrest, claimed Quazi Abdur Rahim, the MLA of Baduria, where the incident happened.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee blamed BJP for inciting the violence, and also alleged that the governor Keshari Nath Tripathi had threatened her and said he was acting like a “BJP block president”.

He telephoned me and threatened me. The governor cannot threaten me. He should know that he is a nominated person. I have told him that you cannot talk to me like that,” the visibly angry CM told reporters in Kolkata.

On the communal violence, she warned leaders of both communities that “I won’t spare anybody fuelling communal clashes”.

BJP may provoke, but why will you walk into the trap? Those who have destroyed government property will have to pay for it,” she said.

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The governor, however, expressed surprise at Mamata’s attitude and language. BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said the governor can “certainly interfere if there are repeated incidents of violence”.

After the “offensive” post went viral, angry Muslim mobs started agitating and set fire to shops and houses belonging to Hindus in Baduria, Swarupnagar and Taki blocks of the district bordering Bangladesh. The car of the additional police superintendent of the district was also attacked on Tuesday.

Four companies of central paramilitary forces (around 300 security personnels) were rushed to Basirhat’s Baduria and its adjoining areas on Tuesday evening in wake of the violence due to communal clashes there.

Internet services were also disrupted in Baduria in North 24 Parganas on Wednesday following the communal violence.

Ulta Jagannath Yatra disrupted for a while

On Monday morning, All India Sunnat Al Jamayat, a non-political Islamic social welfare trust in the area, appealed to Muslims through social networking sites to refrain from erecting road blockades as it was the day of ulta-Rathyatra, reported Hindustan Times.

At many places, the procession, which concludes the nine-day Jagannath yatra, could not take place.

In nearby Basirhat South, Trinamool MLA Dipendu Biswas said they were “maintaining close contact with the people to avoid any untoward incident”.

We took precautionary measures and managed to avoid clashes and violence in my constituency,” said Rafiqul Islam, MLA of Basirhat North.

Some people blocked roads in my constituency on Monday and Tuesday. But after much persuasion we managed to lift it,” he said.

Opposition puts blame on Mamta Govt

Leaders of different political parties have started bashing the current TMC Government in West Bengal. “We demand an all-party meeting an army deployment. The debate on phone call is unwarranted,” twitted CPI(M) state secretary Suryakanta Mishra.

The BJP has completely blamed the crisis on CM Mamta Banerjee and her ignorance towards the condition of Hindus in West Bengal who have constantly been victims in their own state.

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Mamta Banerjee however has accused BJP of inciting violence in Bengal in the past few years for their political gain. She has urged the people to not fall in BJP’s trap and live in harmony as Bengal has lived for several years.

North 24 Parganas district has the distinction of being the most populous district in the country. According to 2011 census, Muslims constitute 26% of the population.

Incidentally, few months ago, Mamata had told senior police officers that they should take strict action against anybody who foments communal trouble in the state.

Source: Hindustan Times

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