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  India   All India  05 Jul 2017  Bengal riot erupts, Mamata Banerjee attacks governor

Bengal riot erupts, Mamata Banerjee attacks governor

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jul 5, 2017, 2:59 am IST
Updated : Jul 5, 2017, 2:59 am IST

4 companies of Central forces rushed in.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (Photo: PTI)
 West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (Photo: PTI)

Kolkata/New Delhi: Even as four companies of Central paramilitary forces were rushed to violence-hit Baduria and its adjoining areas in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas on Tuesday evening, after the situation rapidly spun out of control when the superintendent of police was attacked by an angry mob, politics of polraisation continued to rage in the state capital.

While the state BJP alleged that over 2,000 Muslims attacked Hindu families in the area and urged home minister Rajnath Singh to “intervene,” West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee accused the BJP of inciting communal violence and attacked governor Keshari Nath Tripathi for “behaving like a BJP block president”.

Speaking to the media at the state secretariat in Kolkata, the Trinamul Congress chief said, “He (governor) threatened me over phone. The way he spoke, taking the side of BJP, I felt insulted. I have told him that he cannot talk like this. He is behaving like a block president of BJP. He should understand that he has been nominated to the post, but I’ve been elected to this chair… I am not here at the mercy of anyone. The way he spoke to me, I once thought of leaving (the chair).”

“The governor cannot threaten me,” she said, seething with rage. The governor, however, expressed surprise over Ms Banerjee’s “harsh language” and a statement issued by the Raj Bhavan maintained that the “Governor cannot remain a mute spectator of the affairs in the state.” It further stated that the “talks between the chief minister and the Governor were confidential in nature and none is expected to disclose it.”

The statement claimed that “there was nothing in it by which the CM may have felt insulted, threatened or humiliated”.

The statement further added that it “is proper for the Governor to bring to the notice of the chief minister any serious grievance made by any member of public or any serious event happening in the state”.

Dozens of shops and houses, and at least six police vehicles have been torched by mobs over the past two days after a Class 11 student posted a blasphemous message on Facebook.

Ms Banerjee said that clashes broke out between the two communities in Baduria of the Basirhat sub-division on the basis of a Facebook post allegedly about a holy site.

The student was arrested on Sunday night and prohibitory orders clamped, but vandalism continued throughout Monday and Tuesday. Quazi Abdur Rahim, the MLA of Baduria, said the administration did not inform people about the arrest, and that’s why the unrest continued.

Expressing concern over the law and order situation, Ms Banerjee said she could not have asked the police to open fire as it could have led to the loss of lives.

“The plan was to pacify agitators and that was why it took time. I admit the police could have done better but our priority was to ensure no life is lost,” she said.

Threatening those involved in the violence with strict action, she said, “Those who with their acts of vandalism gave the governor the opportunity to insult me will not be spared. I will make them pay from their own pockets for the damage of property. Those who have set police vehicles ablaze will be taught lessons.”

Ms Banerjee cautioned leaders of both communities that none would be “spared” for “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.

The Centre has so far sent 300 paramilitary personnel to assist the local police in containing the situation.

On Monday, 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 blocking roads as it was the day of ulta-Rathyatra, a Hindu festival in which devotees celebrate the return of the trinity to their abode.

The CPI(M), meanwhile, demanded an all party meeting, while the state BJP secretary, Sayantan Basu, said there was a total collapse of law and order in Baduria.

Tags: keshari nath tripathi, mamata banerjee