The state government on Wednesday shut internet services in violence-hit Raniganj and Asansol in West Burdwan district till March 30 to “maintain law and order”.
In a letter sent to the district magistrate of West Burdwan, the government said: “A situation is prevailing in some areas within the Paschim Bardhman district whereby unsubstantiated information had been circulated or there is an apprehension that such information could be circulated in some sections of the media with a view to inflaming public sentiments and instigating general public to violence. Hence, any data related messages or class of messages shall temporarily not be transmitted in the interest of maintaining public order within the jurisdiction of Asansol North, Asansol South, Hirapur, Jamuria, Kulti, Raniganj. This order is valid till 12 noon of March 30 unless revoked or modified.”
Meanwhile, situation in Raniganj and Asansol remained tensed with the state government deploying additional forces and sending a team comprising IPS officers from Kolkata there. Shops, schools, local markets in and around Raniganj and Asansol remained shut as prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC are in place.
Police sources said that so far 19 people have been arrested from both Raniganj and Asansol since the last two days for allegedly fomenting trouble. Since Wednesday morning, police officials have been asking people via microphones to maintain law and order.
Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel conducted flag marches to ensure peace in the disturbed areas. IG Rajeev Mishra, Asansol-Durgapur Police Commissioner L N Meena led the marches throughout the day.
“This is our request to people to not assemble in groups. Rumours are being spread. Please do not pay heed to those rumours,” said a police officer.
On Wednesday, the state government also sent a team of doctors to supervise the treatment of Deputy Commissioner of Police (Raniganj) Arindam Dutta Choudhury, who received serious hand injuries after a bomb was hurled at him on March 26. Choudhury is currently being treated at Durgapur Mission Hospital.
“Patient is clinically stable. Amputation is not required. He needs lot of surgeries, including orthopedic and plastic surgeries,” a doctor told The Indian Express.
Situation in North 24 Parganas’s Kankinara improved where a man was killed and a statue of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad pulled down during an armed rally led by TMC leaders on Sunday.
“Kankinara remained peaceful today. No untoward incident has been reported so far. There is strict police vigil at various entry and exit points,” said a senior police officer.
In Purulia too, which witnessed violence on March 25, situation is normal. “However, police are on alert and forces have been deployed at all the sensitive points. So far, we have arrested 28 people —16 were arrested on Sunday and rest in the last two days,” SP (Purulia) Joy Biswas told The Indian Express.