Homes ransacked in communal violence in Bengal, people flee

The trigger was a low-intensity bomb allegedly thrown at a Muharram procession Wednesday, police said.

Written by Aniruddha Ghosal | Hazinagar | Updated: October 17, 2016 6:48 pm
bengal communal clash, Bengal violence, Bengal communal violence, communal clash north 24 parganas bengal, hazinagar communal clash, west bengal communal clash, indian express, india news The burnt house of Saheb Hussain at Naihati. (Exprress Photo: Partha Paul)

Communal clashes at Hazinagar and Halisahar in North 24 Parganas district since Wednesday have left several people injured while an estimated 30 homes and several shops, apart from four vehicles, have been ransacked or set on fire. Police said the situation is under control now but many people have fled their homes. “We are ascertaining how many people were injured in the violence,” an official said. “But it is spread over a large area, which is very densely populated. The figure will not be less than 20. At least 30 homes and shops have been damaged, while at least four vehicles have been gutted.”

WATCH VIDEO: West Bengal: Homes Ransacked In Communal Violence: Here’s What Happened

The trigger was a low-intensity bomb allegedly thrown at a Muharram procession Wednesday, police said. While no one was injured then, it resulted in violence with a number of Hindu homes being allegedly attacked by mobs, and Muslim mobs allegedly retaliating.

The initial violence was localised around Hazinagar’s Naihati Jute Mill area where the Jama Masjid is situated, and the neighbourhood around Nelson Road that has homes of both Muslims and Hindus. By Thursday, the violence had spread to nearby Patterson Road, a Hindu-majority area adjoining the Muslim-dominated colony around Hazinagar Chhoti Masjid.

Hazinagar has been particularly tense for the past few months. “There has always been an issue with the Jama Masjid. Durga idol processions have traditionally avoided a route that directly crosses the mosque but since last year they have been insistent on using that route,” said Anwar Ali, 72, a tailor who lives in the area.

Four days later, Muslim homes stood empty in Hindu-majority areas, as did Hindu homes in Muslim-dominated areas. Many of these houses bore signs of having been ransacked. With shops shut, food and medicine were beginning to become scarce.

Anwar Ali’s shop, now gutted, was surrounded by shops owned by Hindus; these were left untouched. In contrast, BJP councilor of ward 23 at Halishahar Ravishankar Singh alleged, “I was conducting the tazia along with Muslim elders to ensure there was no violence. It was at this point that the mob turned up and started loot and arson. Even my office was not spared and they burnt everything but all Muslim homes and shops in the area were spared.”

Rishikesh Meena, CO, Eastern Frontier Rifles, 1st Battalion who is stationed in the area, said, “The situation is under control now. We’re questioning everyone who is coming and going, all two-wheelers and four-wheelers are being checked to ensure that outsiders can’t enter.”

Anuj Sharma, IG (law and order), who told The Indian Express Saturday that “no injuries” had been reported, declined to comment Sunday. Superintendent of Police (Barasat) Tanmoy Roy Choudhury too declined to comment in spite of repeated attempts. So did officials of the district administration.

The Opposition has alleged that Bengal has witnessed communal incidents on account of the government’s order to prohibit immersion of Durga idols on the day after Vijaya Dashami as it coincided with Muharram. The order was partly struck down by Calcutta High Court, which deemed it an “endeavour” to “appease the minority section”.

Leader of the Opposition Abdul Mannan, who attempted to visit the riot-affected area along with Left leader Sujan Chakroborty prior to being stopped by the police, told The Indian Express that the entire incident was a complete “administrative failure” and urged the government to ensure that people return home. “There should be a peace march, an all-party meeting. Right now with people fleeing their homes, the violence is just spreading. This has to be stopped.”

Mannan alleged that TMC’s policies regarding the immersion had played into the hands of the BJP and the RSS. “This is exactly what the BJP wants, to create further unrest in the state wherein they can make gains in a state that has traditionally rejected their communal politics,” he said.

The BJP has said it will “compile a report” on communal violence in Bengal during Muharram to be sent to the Union Home Ministry. State BJP secretary Sayantan Basu said the BJP will “hold a protest against communalism in Bengal” Monday.

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  1. B
    Bharat Sanghvi
    Jan 4, 2017 at 4:07 am
    #TMCTerrorInWB
    Reply
    1. S
      seetharaman
      Jan 5, 2017 at 8:40 am
      traditionally avoided a route that directly crosses the mosque but since last year they have been insistent on using that routegt;gt;gt;gt;gt; lt;br/gt;this is a very big crime, and naturally those who p through the mosque area need to be punished.
      Reply
      1. A
        Avishek barman
        Oct 18, 2016 at 7:55 am
        What is your opinion? BJP DANGA LAGATE CHAICHE
        Reply
        1. G
          Gawahar.ahmd
          Oct 17, 2016 at 4:10 am
          If police do their job properly, everything will be under control and political members need not meddle . .but the problem is . . .political parties meddle in police duties ..
          Reply
          1. M
            MyTake
            Oct 17, 2016 at 10:47 am
            Bijoya Dhasami gift from Mamataz Begum to the people who voted her to power!
            Reply
            1. M
              MyTake
              Oct 16, 2016 at 10:00 pm
              Mamata affect! This is what she was aiming for, putting one community against another
              Reply
              1. M
                MyTake
                Oct 16, 2016 at 10:05 pm
                Mamata's new stan in the making!
                Reply
                1. N
                  Nak
                  Oct 17, 2016 at 8:08 am
                  Ban RSS and BJP under sedition laws. They are a threat to our consution and communal harmony.
                  Reply
                  1. P
                    PUDUCHERRY CONGRESS
                    Oct 17, 2016 at 8:28 am
                    Ban RSS and BJP under sedition laws.
                    Reply
                    1. P
                      PUDUCHERRY CONGRESS
                      Oct 17, 2016 at 8:27 am
                      very bad situation
                      Reply
                      1. R
                        Raje
                        Oct 17, 2016 at 10:09 am
                        IE is shamelessly doing propaa here. IE never writes story when these so called minority attack Durga pooja celebrations, When they ban Durga pooja in villages where they are in majority. They do not write nothing of what these muslims do in their majority districts, villages. What is wrong with you media IE?
                        Reply
                        1. S
                          SubbuI
                          Oct 17, 2016 at 6:48 am
                          COMMUNAL VOILANCE SPONSORED BY RSS AND BJP IN WEST BENGAL.THEY WILL NEVER LET MAMTA TO RULE PEACEFULLY.THAT IS THE SPECIAL ISTUCTION GIVEN BY KALNAYAK GUNDA SHAH TO HIS BJP CADRES THERE
                          Reply
                          1. S
                            Syed aslam
                            Oct 17, 2016 at 7:38 pm
                            Both the community peoples are foolish they need to understand religions and faiths are more important than humanity these stupid mentality creates these violance. need to think about what the future of this country will go this all peoples mentality and their anger. Country has to suffer where ever BJP intervance these situations are common.lt;br/gt;Making differences between the people of the country thay just dont understand what will happend to this country for its future if like this.so worst thing will happens this country need secular politics where each and every one will be justifies. and rule has to impose this type of procession and visarjan has to stop on roads any thing should be with in the boundaries to perform. Religions doesnot say go and celebrate festivals on roads.
                            Reply
                            1. I
                              Inidna
                              Oct 17, 2016 at 4:37 am
                              This is what media is, Hindu homes burned and blame is put on Hindus.
                              Reply
                              1. A
                                amartya
                                Oct 17, 2016 at 8:18 am
                                result of i nehru decision to keep peacefuls
                                Reply
                                1. J
                                  jay hind
                                  Oct 18, 2016 at 11:42 am
                                  Muslims when majority that place no secularism.. Hindus always tortured n burnt there homes n looted this piggy mullahs
                                  Reply
                                  1. A
                                    Arun
                                    Dec 19, 2016 at 11:40 am
                                    28% muslim says no Durga puja just think what will happen after 10 years now,lt;br/gt;Sharia, burkini, ohh good news we are gonna deport them all from am
                                    Reply
                                    1. A
                                      Arun
                                      Dec 19, 2016 at 11:44 am
                                      As long as bangladesi muslims are in west bengal,these riots will happen again again untill it becomes kashmir
                                      Reply
                                      1. C
                                        Champa Bai
                                        Oct 17, 2016 at 6:34 am
                                        cheap media.....paid for by the political hoodlums.........not reporting the correct news....now media also started appeasing the minority community
                                        Reply
                                        1. C
                                          civilian hazinagar
                                          Oct 19, 2016 at 10:36 am
                                          Ask these political parties to host india's national flag in muslims locality and loudly say Hindusthan Jindabad, Bharat Mata ki jay.lt;br/gt;No one will say bcz. they fear as their vote bank will become empty.
                                          Reply
                                          1. C
                                            civilian hazinagar
                                            Oct 19, 2016 at 9:05 am
                                            What I have heard that Police taking side of muslims on instructions of Political Parties. Even MLA said that they have owned the election with minority votes not from votes of hindus. Even political parties are trying to bifercate bengalis and non-bengalies. They are telling bengalis that the unrest is between biharies and muslims so don't come to support biharies. They are not allowing any other political party or media to enter into the area to report the actual situation. Even political party with too much police force are sitting tenting a pandel about 1.5 kms away from the affected area.
                                            Reply
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