A prominent group of Muslims in Kolkata has written to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, seeking stringent action against the culprits involved in the attack on doctors and harassment of model Ushoshi Sengupta in order to overcome the “perception” that they are being “shielded or appeased”.
“We have been deeply concerned with two events that occurred recently…The attackers in both instances were members of our community…We are grieved and embarrassed,” a letter by a group of 46 Muslims to the Chief Minister read.
“Bring the assailants to book not just in these two instances but in every single instance where Muslims are involved. They should not be allowed to get away because they happen to be Muslims (as is the growing perception). This will send out a message that members of one community are not being shielded or appeased (as most people believe),” the letter added.
The letter also urged the state government to “engage or encourage engagements with Muslim youth and their families across Kolkata in gender-sensitisation, civic consciousness and law-compliance, etc.”
Mudar Patherya, a communications expert who drafted the letter to Banerjee, said the state government must shun vote-bank politics and address the issue considering the betterment of the next generation. “The moment they start doing that, I think things will start taking a positive turn for us,” he said.
Another signatory, nutritionist Neha Hafiz, said there is a need to change the perception that the Muslims in the state was “getting more privileges than others”. “This is a problem that we cannot deny. We need to address it,” she added.
Last week, two junior doctors were attacked by the relatives of a Muslim patient who had died in NRS Medical College and Hospital. Following the assault, the junior doctors started a week-long agitation, which had disrupted health care services at all state-run hospitals.
In a separate incident, Ushoshi Sengupta, a former Miss India Universe, was chased and harassed by a gang of bikers twice when she was returning home from work in an app-based cab. Out of the 10 people named in the complaint lodged by Sengupta, seven have been arrested.