A BJP central team was stopped by West Bengal police from entering the violence-hit area in Dhulagarh in Howrah district on Saturday after which it staged a road blockade, accusing the Mamata Banerjee government of pursuing “appeasement politics”. The BJP delegation comprising party MPs Jagdambika Pal, Satpal Singh, state president Dilip Ghosh and its national secretary Rahul Sinha along with supporters was stopped at Ekabbarapur Road, about one kilometre away from the spot where the clashes had taken place a few days ago.
The police, which cordononed off the area and deployed a large number of personnel, told the delegation that they would not be allowed to proceed since prohibitory orders have been imposed under Section 144 of CrPC. Angered by it, the BJP delegation along with one thousand odd supporters blocked the road in protest.
Alleging that there is no law and order in the state, Pal said the government was following “appeasement politics towards a particular community”. He also alleged that the government had transferred the Howrah (Rural) Superintendent of Police Sabyasachi Raman Mishra for arresting 65 people in connection with the violence at Dhulagarh, where houses belonging to a community and their property were attacked by another.
Ghosh alleged right wing Muslim outfits and SIMI activists have entered the area and were creating trouble. He also said BJP was not given prior information about prohibitory orders being imposed in Dhulagarh. “We are surprised that police did not allow us to approach the people in the area to know about their plight of sufferings,” Ghosh said.
Sinha said that police was working at the instruction of the government and the action was an insult for the party central team. “The BJP team comprised two MPs and a number of state leaders. We were told that Section 144 CrPC has been imposed in the area. If it is so, two of us could be allowed to enter the area,” Sinha said.
“We will enter the area by any means. If the situation deteriorates, the government will be responsible,” Sinha threatened. Some BJP workers also blockaded the busy Kolkata-Mumbai NH6. Both blockades were later lifted and Ghosh said the BJP delegation would proceed to Raj Bhavan to submit a memorandum to Governor K N Tripathi.
BJP has alleged that the minority wing of the ruling Trinamool Congress has targeted Hindus in the area in Howrah district for their support to the saffron party. The Governor had alaso enguired from the state Director General of Police Surajit Kar Purakayastha abou the law and order situation there.
“The governor asked the DGP to ensure peace and law and order in the area and to take strict action against the culprits,” a release issued by the Raj Bhavan had said. Tension erupted in Dhulagarh when two groups reportedly clashed as a procession was brought out in the area last week. As per a senior officer at the Howrah Commissionerate, police had to use tear gas to bring the situation under control when the groups hurled bombs at each other.