As Illambazar area of Birbhum remained in the grip of communal tension where violence over an objectionable Facebook post saw one person dead, BJP organised a rally barely 50 km away where its state unit president said that he will “ensure” that those who “speak against the nation” are “shortened by six inches”. Meanwhile, a pamphlet issued in the name of the party called for “Hindu unity” against the “Talibani” rule of a minority community.
“The BJP government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been tough on Pakistan and Bangladesh. We will not tolerate such things. Those who give anti-national statements will be punished. Those who speak against the nation will be shortened by six inches,” said Dilip Ghosh, president, West Bengal BJP.
Addressing a protest rally at Siuri, the capital of Birbhum, he said the “police here is completely unable to control the situation”. Ghosh later submitted a memorandum to the district magistrate.
Meanwhile, a pamphlet, issued by Birbhum BJP district committee, was widely distributed in the area. The pamhplet described the violence at Illambazar, alleging that Muslims had “surrounded the police station”, attacked “bystanders”, government vehicles and torched a number of shops and cars. It alleged that Hindu houses at Ghurisha were also torched and that the power house at Deborajpur was vandalised.
The pamphlet made an impassioned call for “Hindu unity”, saying that while the BJP is not opposed to “difference of opinions”, they are demanding that Hindus have the right to “live in peace”, “without losing self respect”, “without suffering humiliation and assault”, “without losing safety”.
Meanwhile, the ruling TMC alleged that the BJP’s protest at Siuri was an attempt to divide votes on communal lines. “What the BJP is saying is anti-national. What else can be said? All they want to do is to divide Bengal into two camps — Hindu and Muslim. This is their attempt to polarise votes ahead of polls,” said state Fisheries Minister Chandranath Sinha.