The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Thursday said the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were creating polarisation over Baduria communal violence, which started over an objectionable post on Facebook about a holy site. CPI (M) leader Prakash Karat slammed the Mamata Banerjee-led state government for failing to control the situation in Baduria, a town and police station of Basirhat subdivision in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. “From the past four days, there has been communal violence in Basirhat and the state government is not able to control the situation. Because of the communal politics; the TMC and BJP are creating polarisation,” Karata told ANI. The CPI(M) leader demanded that instead of politics over the violence, the normalcy should be restored.
“First step is to see that the violence should be ended and normalcy should be restored. This is not the time to make political issue out of the situation,” Karat asserted. The violence was first reported from Baduria on Sunday evening after Muslims were up in arms over a Facebook post. The main accused, who allegedly posted objectionable material on Facebook, was arrested on Monday morning and remanded in four-day police custody. He has reportedly told police that he didn’t upload any derogatory photo on Facebook and claimed that he had lost his SIM card.
However, this didn’t calm down the members of the protesting community and they resorted to violence and torched the home of the accused. Later, communal violence spread in Baduria, Tentulia and Golabari areas and several shops were torched and houses ransacked. On Monday night, the Baduria Police Station was attacked and set ablaze. On Tuesday evening, protesters torched police and government vehicles.
Superintendent of Police (North 24 Parganas) Bhaskar Mukherjee was also injured when an angry mob attacked him and torched his vehicle. On Wednesday, section 144 was imposed in Baduria and Basirhat. As a precautionary measure, the government also suspended internet services in police station areas of Basirhat, Baduria, Swarupnagar, and Deganga. Taking cognizance of the matter, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) sought a detailed report from the Mamata Banerjee-led Government over the violence.
Four companies of the Border Security Force (BSF) and 400 paramilitary personnel were also deployed in the violence-hit areas. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee appealed the warring groups to maintain peace and communal harmony in the area. She, however, on Wednesday was embroiled in a spat with West Bengal Governor K.N. Tripathi over Baduria violence. While, Mamata accused Tripathi of acting like “a BJP block president” and “threatening” her; the Raj Bhawan expressed surprise over Mamata’s statement.