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West Bengal’s Basirhat Burning In Communal Flames But Mamata Accuses Governor Of ‘Threatening’ Her

Updated on 7 July, 2017 at 4:06 pm By

The Center has dispatched around 300-400 central police force battalions to Basirhat in North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal because of communal tension in the city.

 

Basirhat is in North 24 Parganas near the Bangladesh border.
Tapan Ghosh/twitter

The city, which is located very close to the Bangladesh border, has been up in flames because of enraged Muslim community.

The communal violence erupted in Baduria sub-division of Basirhat following a Facebook post allegedly against Islam.

An enraged Muslim mob set fire to vehicles, including three belonging to the police. As usual, the West Bengal police remained helpless.

Apparently, Islamists in Nikaripara area allegedly desecrated the rath of Lord Jagannatha. Protesting against the desecration, Hindus came out on the streets of Basirhat.

The uploader of the Facebook post was arrested by the police. But the Islamist mob did not stop the rampage and went on damaging public property.

 

The police failed to contain the violence even as it continued for a second day today.

According to Tapan Samanta, shops belonging to Hindus were looted and damaged at Trimohini square in Kalibari locality of Basirhat and at Ghisighat locality. At the same time, the Sealdah-Hasnabad local was stalled and Malda to Basirhat road was blocked.

 

Ghosh writes that huge mob of Islamists moved towards Hindu neighborhoods and that Hindus were uncertain of the situation across Basirhat.

Basirhat is very close to Bangladesh border. And as is the case with most border towns in state, Basirhat is a Muslim-majority city.

The city is the parliamentary constituency of Trinamool Congress MP Idris Ali, who in 2007 was arrested for inciting riots in Kolkata while protesting against Taslima Nasreen.

But when Ali went to pacify the enraged Islamic mob, he too was allegedly beaten up:



Being close to the border also means that the number of illegal immigrants is also very high. In fact, 10 illegal immigrants had been arrested while trying to enter India on June 19.

 

Location of Basirhat. Note its proximity to the Bangladesh border.

What is, however, shocking is that attitude of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. According to reports, she not only accused the BJP of inciting the violence but also blamed the Governor of siding with the BJP.

She claims that Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi “threatened” her on telephone.

“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,” Banerjee told reporters in Kolkata.

But the Governor expressed shock at the statement. While asserting the right of the Governor to bring to any CM’s notice any serious situation in the state, a statement issued by the Governor said that there was nothing in the talk that Banerjee would have “felt insulted, threatened or humiliated”.

 

Instead of taking action against Islamists in her state, Banerjee accused the Governor of “threatening” her.

This is not the first incidence of riot in West Bengal and not the first in which Hindus have been targeted. For the last couple of years, a steady series of riots and targeted attacks on Hindus from Malda in the north to districts in the south, mostly bordering Bangladesh, has been going on.

Reacting to the violence, BJP MP Babul Supriyo accused Banerjee of playing vote-bank politics and shameless appeasement of minority community.

Supriyo also condemned Banerjee’s accusation against the Governor calling it “appalling” that an elected CM speaks in such a manner.

Meanwhile, anger erupted on social media over the riots, the government’s failure in tackling them, and the increasing Islamism in the state:


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And in spite of the concerns over the rise of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, Mamata Banerjee had in 2016 expressed her desire of getting all Bangladeshis living in the state for five years or more citizenship certificates.

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