A TEAM of central leaders of BJP was stopped by the police from entering the violence-hit area in Dhulagarh in Howrah district on Saturday, following which it staged a road blockade, accusing the Mamata government of pursuing “appeasement politics”. The delegation, comprising BJP MPs Jagdambika Pal and Satpal Singh, state president Dilip Ghosh and party national secretary Rahul Sinha, along with supporters, was stopped at Ekabbarapur Road — about 1 km away from the spot where clashes had taken place between two communities last week.
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 in the area.
Angered, the BJP delegation, along with about 1,000 supporters, blocked the road in protest. Some BJP workers also blockaded the busy Kolkata-Mumbai National Highway-6. Both blockades were later lifted.
“It is a state-sponsored violence. The victims have been given no security… There is no law and order in the state… government was following appeasement politics towards a particular community,” said Pal. He alleged that the government had transferred Howrah (Rural) SP Sabyasachi Raman Mishra for arresting 65 people in connection with the violence at Dhulagarh.
Dilip Ghosh alleged that right-wing Muslim outfits and SIMI activists have entered the area and were creating trouble. “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 locals to know about their plight,” he said.
Rahul Sinha claimed that the police were working at the instruction of the state 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 of CrPC has been imposed in the area. If it is so, two of us could be allowed to enter the area… We will enter the area by any means. If the situation deteriorates, the government will be responsible,” Sinha threatened.
The BJP delegation went on to meet Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi. “We have told the Governor, how the state is misusing the administration to help the fundamentalists of the state. This has to stop. The government should take steps to ensure the safety and security of minorities,” Ghosh told mediapersons.
In a statement, the BJP said: “The two parliamentarians Shri Satypal Singh and Shri Jagadambika Pal had specifically come to inspect the situation and thereby submit a report to the central government. The whole scheduled programme was informed to the chief secretary, West Bengal. However, the state administration sent an email to the district president, BJP Howrah, declaring about the prohibition into Dhulagarh under Section 144 CrPC from 6 am on December 24 (sic). The email has sent by the Howrah Police at 11.12 am, just an hour before the scheduled programme. The state government is trying to occult matter, but state BJP will not bow down to the atrocities of state government and will continue to fight for the justice for victims of Dhulagarh (sic).”
BJP national secretary Sidharth Nath Singh said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee should “stop shouting” on the issue of demonetisation and concentrate on improving the law and order situation in the state. “The law and order is worsening with every passing day. It has become a hub of jihadis, rioters and all is happening because of the patronage of Mamata Banerjee government. The day is not far away when Bengal will soon turn into a fundamentalist state,” Singh claimed.