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West Bengal governor visits violence-hit Asansol, urges people to maintain peace, harmony

A four-member central BJP delegation led by party national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hossain will on Sunday visit the Raniganj-Asansol region

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: April 1, 2018 12:20:36 am
Asansol, violence-hit Asansol, West Bengal governor, Keshari Nath Tripathi, Keshari Nath Tripathi Visits Asansol, India News, Indian Express News West Bengal Governor KN Tripathi during his visit to a gutted shop at Chandmari in Asansol on Saturday. (Express photo by Subham Dutta)

West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi on Saturday arrived in violence-hit Asansol to take stock of the situation. He held an hour long review meeting with senior police and administration officials. The governor is scheduled to visit the violence-hit areas of Raniganj and Asansol areas later in the day.

“I had a meeting with officials over the situation, I appeal to people here to maintain peace and harmony,” ANI quoted Tripathi as saying after visiting the violence-hit areas of the district.

The violence that broke out on Monday with a Ram Navami procession in Raniganj left one person dead and several police officers injured. It spread to neighbouring Asansol the next day, where a 16-year-old youth, Sibtulla Rashidi, was killed who is the son of the Imam of Noorani Masjid, Imdatullah Rashid.

Gutted house and articles at Ramkrishna Dangalpara due to Ramnabami rally clash on Tuesday. (Express/ Subham Dutta)

Two other people, S K Sahjahan and Maqsood Khan, were killed in a violence triggered by Ram Navami processions in parts of the state last Sunday. Till now, 60 persons have been arrested in Asansol and police have recovered some arms, a top IPS officer told the Indian Express. The state government has suspended Internet services in Raniganj and Asansol, in West Burdwan district, till further notification.

Read | Ram Navami violence: His son dead, Asansol Imam says if you retaliate, will leave town

Union minister Babul Supriyo and state BJP Mahila Morcha president Locket Chatterjee were also stopped from entering the Asansol-Raniganj area by police on Thursday. In a heated exchange with locals, Babul Supriyo was heard threatening locals to skin them alive. As some people approached him, Babul Supriyo was heard saying, “Aami ki apnader ke bolbo lorai koro? Ami chole jabo, apnader opor goli cholbe (Will I ask you to fight? I will leave and you will come under fire).” But when a person asked him to “go back” and leave them alone, Supriyo was heard shouting, “Chamra guthiye debo ekdom… (Will skin them alive).”

At a torched house in Asansol on Friday. (Express Photo/Subham Dutta)

Read | Why Asansol is still on edge: Hindus terrified to return home, Muslims scared to step out

“There were two-three miscreants belonging to the TMC who were trying to create panic. They were shouting slogans against me while I was trying to meet the victims. I stopped my vehicle when I saw two elderly women weeping. They wanted to meet me and were talking about police inaction in the area… The miscreants pushed away the women… The police should have driven away the miscreants, but targeted me instead. If I said ‘chamra guthiye debo (will skin alive)’, it was out of pure anger targeted at those miscreants,” Supriyo told Indian Express. Meanwhile, both the minister and police filed an FIR against them.

Read | Union Minister Babul Supriyo stokes Asansol tension, tells crowd: Will skin you alive

Remains of a burned up behicles following clashes in the area. (Express photo by Subham Dutta)

A four-member central BJP delegation will on Sunday visit the Raniganj-Asansol region. State BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu told The Indian Express the team will be led by party national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hossain, with BJP MPs O P Mathur, V D Ram and Roopa Ganguly as the members. It will arrive in Kolkata on Saturday evening. “The delegation will visit violence-hit areas to take stock of the situation. They would also talk to victims and submit a report to our national president Amit Shah on the ground reality,” Basu said.

The gutted shop after Ramnabami riot at Chandmari on Tuesday. (Express photo by Subham Dutta)

Prohibitory orders are still in force as the situation here is tense, a senior police officer said., adding that no incident of violence was reported. A huge contingent of the police and the Rapid Action Force (RAF) is patrolling the area.


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