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CM promises action over Shibpur violence

Situation still tense in affected area amidst sporadic violence, HM Amit Shah spoke to Guv seeking to know about law and order situation in state

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |


Chief minister Mamata Banerjee who heads the home department on Friday admitted inaction of a section of police personnel who were on duty on Thursday evening when Ram Navami-linked violence occurred at Kazipara.

Later in the day, Union home minister Amit Shah spoke to the Governor C V Ananda Bose seeking to know about law and order situation in the state particularly against the backdrop against Howrah violence.

The chief minister has warned to take action against those who provoked the riots.

While speaking to a Bengali TV channel on Friday the chief minister said: “We will take strong action against those persons who were involved in the incident. We will also take action against those police personnel because of whose inaction such incident happened. Thirty-one persons have been arrested so far.”

Making an appeal to the minority community Miss Banerjee said: “People residing in the areas have some grievances but try to restore peace. Hindus did not create any violence in Howrah. Some organizations like VHP, Bajrang Dal and others belonging to BJP organised the trouble. It’s a conspiracy of the BJP to disturb peace in Bengal.”

“Time and again, they keep trying to stoke communal violence. It is the only thing they are good at,” she said.

Suvendu Adhikari, BJP MLA and Leader of the Opposition in the state legislative Assembly, moved Calcutta High Court (HC) on Friday over the communal clash that erupted at Kazipara area within Shibpur police station limits, during Ram Nabami celebrations, asking for a CBI and NIA inquiry to look into the incident.

“I have filed public interest litigation (PIL) today in the Hon’ble High Court at Calcutta pertaining to incidents of violence and attack on Ram Nabami processions at Howrah and Dalkhola. I have prayed for NIA probe and immediate deployment of central forces in such areas,” Adhikari tweeted.

He alleged that some Trinamul Congress leaders including a local councillor were involved in Thursday’s violence.

The hearing of the case will take place in the court of the acting Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court on Monday.

Several vehicles including some belonging to the police and auto-rickshaws and shops and establishments were torched and damaged by a mob during the violence. The trouble started when some people allegedly started pelting stones as the Ram Navami procession was passing through the PM Bastee area on Thursday evening.

Md Salim, CPI-M state secretary, while speaking to reporters at Alimuddin Street, said: “The chief minister can’t deny her responsibility on Howrah violence. How can she make lower rank policemen responsible, being herself the police minister? Both Trinamul Congress and BJP are playing cards of religious polarization politics ahead of rural polls. CPI-M will bring out a peace procession at Kazipara on Sunday.”

On Friday, tension prevailed in the areas like Kazipara, PM Bastee and Sandhyabazar along the G T Road with reports of fresh violence. Groups of people came down to the G T Road pelted stones at police personnel force deployed on the spot and tried to break police barricades.

Panic-stricken residents were forced to stay inside their houses and housing complexes. Shops and commercial establishments remained closed throughout the day. Public transport like buses and minibuses were not also allowed to operate in the area throughout the day till the evening.

Huge contingent of police force from several adjoining police stations like Shibpur, Howrah and Byantra and RAF of Kolkata Police were deployed to bring the situation under control.

Policemen were seen sensitizing the local residents requesting them to stay in their homes and avoid assembling in groups in the localities.

Police force led by senior police officers like additional director general of police Siddhinath Gupta raided lanes and bylanes of Kazipara, PM Bastee and Sandhyabazar since Thursday night to nab suspects involved in the violence.