Section 144 has been imposed in Basirhat areas of North 24-Parganas district in West Bengal following violent clashes between two communities over a derogatory social media post. Mobs had torched police vehicles, vandalised shops and blocked roads leading to the India-Bangladesh border on Tuesday. After this, BJP State President Dilip Ghosh demanded for President rule in the state.
After the state government sought Central government’s help on the issue, the Union Home Ministry had on Tuesday dispatched three companies of paramilitary forces to the area. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) also asked the state government for a detailed report on the incident.
The clash began after a Class X student allegedly put up a derogatory post on Facebook on Monday, police said. Police nabbed the boy the same day. Several shops and homes were vandalised and major roads were blocked by the mobs. They also demonstrated in front of Baduria police station.
Schools and colleges were shut on Tuesday following the riots. They also stopped local trains and bus services. Later in the afternoon, alleging police inaction against the protesters, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers and supporters also started blocking roads in parts of the district.
Hindu groups organised a stir in Kolkata against the tension in Baduria. Four protesters — Sanjay Goswami, Rajarshi Lahiri, Suraj Poddar and Surojit Biswas —who are reportedly VHP members, have been arrested.
On Tuesday, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya wrote to Home Minister Rajnath Singh alleging that five BJP offices had been attacked in the district. He also wrote that more than 2,000 Muslims attacked Hindu families. Bombs went off at many places and information of Hindu sisters and daughters being raped have also been received.
The violent clashes led to a war of words between Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi. Day after tripathi called up Banerjee following clashes in North 24 Parganas, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) reminded him of his constitutional limits and asked him not to “instigate people who are trying to create unrest in the state”. The chief minister had alleged that Tripathi had threatened and insulted her while talking and accused him of speaking like a “BJP block president”.