Basirhat violence: Series of meetings held in violence-hit West Bengal town to soothe tempers

Additional SP Abhijeet Bandopadhyay said that he had never seen communal tension in the area. “This is the first time I have ever had to hold any peace meeting, and to talk about communal harmony.’’

Written by Esha Roy | Basirhat/baduria | Updated: July 9, 2017 3:12 am
Basirhat violence, west bengla protest, mamat banerjee, facebook post, antimuslim, indian express, india news, latest news Scuffled between two groups allegedly BJP(R) and TMC caused inconvenience to the patients in the hospital. Express Photo by Partha Paul.

A series of peace meetings were held in West Bengal’s violence-hit Basirhat as the town limped back to normalcy on Saturday. Ashit Majumdar, who took over as ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC)’s Basirhat in-charge in the aftermath of the violence, organised a peace meeting between police and members of Hindu and Muslim communities.

Government employee Sudeep Biswas accused the police of inaction at the meeting . “When a Muslim mob came and surrounded our homes and members of a huge procession broke shops, no policeman was present,’’ he said. “Even when there was police presence later, they simply watched…’’

In response, SDPO Shyamal Samanth admitted that they had goofed up. “…during the first 12 hours of violence, we were unable to deploy forces. But this is because we did not have adequate equipment or manpower at that point of time. But the police were deployed soon.’’

Additional SP Abhijeet Bandopadhyay said that he had never seen communal tension in the area. “This is the first time I have ever had to hold any peace meeting, and to talk about communal harmony,’’ he said. “You do not need to listen to lectures from me on communal harmony. Both communities have lived together in peace for generations — let us restore that.’’

But Biswas remained unconvinced. “While there was a communal flare-up initially, what happened over the last couple of days was political. The BJP and RSS took advantage of the situation and instigated people. The TMC used it to sort out its own factional rivalries…this is not acceptable.’’

Outside the meeting venue, shopowner Niladri Biswas, who had just resumed his business, said that they were not going to sit and watch when their homes, shops and temple were attacked. “So we attacked their shops as well,’’ he said. He added that their Muslim neighbours asked if they should leave. “We told them they do not need to; it is okay, they can stay.’’

In Baduria, grocer Feroz Mandal, 27, said that he was in Digha when they got to know about the Facebook post that triggered the violence. “I saw the post on Facebook on Monday morning… I took part in the processions. We wanted the boy (who had allegedly written the post) arrested.’’

Afridi Mandal, 21, who works in Dubai, said that he was roughed up and his bike torched for allegedly eating beef. “We have never had this problem before… We just want peace now.’’ A banner put up for a Muslim festivity in Swarupnagar echoed him: “No violence, only peace.’’

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  1. G
    George Cruz
    Jul 9, 2017 at 7:52 pm
    The congress, the communists, the TMC, etc have taken in millions illegal/illiterate Bangladeshi Muslims for vote bank politics for decades since the 1980s are the real culprits. The majority of these illegal Bangladeshi Muslims attend Madrassa, have no skills to compete with the rest of indian citizens for jobs or other opportunities, these Muslims react using riots, terror/killing innocent Hindus, and the latest atrocities committed by the illiterate/illegal/worthless Bangladeshi Muslims in W.Bengal against the peaceful Hindus just because of objectionable Facebook Post is really outrageous. Unless these Bangladeshi Muslims are forced to get real education and to compete with the rest of the Indian citizens for jobs/opportunities these Muslims commit terror/killing against the peaceful Hindus because of the goonada mentality.
    1. D
      Jul 9, 2017 at 1:44 pm
      Creepycreepy bengalis, spread like cancer all over India, as they have chronic unemployment in their state, pathetic health service means bengalis come in chartered trains to CMC vellore and South India for treatment, these 4th world people can elect Mamata, thats their choice, but since they are part of federal India, they can internally migrate, bringing their illegal bangladeshi muslims with them, its time parliament passed a cons utional amendment, to limit movement between state domiciles, say two visits per year, for all the states, bengal still has chronic leprosy cholera and alarming levels of TB (it is the home of cholera in Asia), faecal hygiene by bengalis is also very bad, their free internal migration can expose southern and western states to health catastrophes, this is a very dangerous moment, Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai pay 70 percent of Indias direct tax, if we add Chennai and Hyd, its 80 percent
      1. T
        Jul 9, 2017 at 10:07 am
        How soothing our mind becomes when we read about peace floating in the atmosphere where many peopke from different religions are living .. Lets all think positively and our main objective shpuld be creating peace arround where ever we live
        1. S
          Jul 9, 2017 at 9:08 am
          Our brothers and sisters in West Bengal please live in peace and do not let communal ism destroy our lives. Communal Cancer is only after power and do not care about our lives.
          1. K
            Kalhan Sanyal
            Jul 9, 2017 at 5:43 am
            Only one can live in peace and harmony and percolation of treasure of heart from different cultures to enrich each other. ICHAMOTI IS THE RIVER OF PEACE WHERE MA DURGA LIVES ALIVE LET US LIVE IN SINGING AND DANCING TO COMBAT THE ANIMALS IN MAN . EXCHANGE FLOWER SWEETS AND RAKHI.
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