Incidents of arson and violence continued to wreak havoc even today in several districts of West Bengal, forcing the state government to suspend Internet services in six districts. A BJP state delegation today visited Prime Minister Narendra Modi and apprised him of the law and order situation in West Bengal amidst the ongoing violence and unrest over the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Sources in Nabanna claimed that Internet services have been suspended in the entirety of North Dinajpur, Malda, Murshidabad and Howrah districts and four sub-divisions of North and South 24- Parganas “for the maintenance of safety and security of the citizens”.
Net services have been stopped in Barasat and Basirhat sub-divisions of North 24- Parganas and Baruipur and Canning sub-divisions in South 24-Parganas. Meanwhile, sporadic incidents of violence were reported from several places across South Bengal for the third consecutive day. Protesters blocked roads and set tyres on fire on NH 34 in Amdanga, Khardah- Ruhiya Bakultala crossing on Kalyani Expressway, Jessore Road near Madhyamgram and Deganga. People squatted on the railway tracks at Kankra, Mirzanagar, Sandalia, Haroa Road stations.
The agitators dumped tree branches and banana leaves on railway tracks, disrupting train movement. Hyatnagar crossing in Birbhum also saw massive protests by the locals. Akra Station in Sealdah Budge-Budge Section in North 24-Parganas was targeted by the agitators who ransacked the station complex and damaged the ticket counter. In Nadia, demonstrators blocked Kalyani Expressway. Similar protests were reported from Domjur area of Howrah district, and parts of Burdwan and Birbhum, with agitators taking out rallies and raising slogans against the BJP government. The police and RAF carried out area domination in various parts of Uluberia. In Malda district, protesters ransacked Bhaluka railway station and organised a road and rail blockade at Sagardighi in Murshidabad. Criticising CM Mamata Banerjee today, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar called upon those in position of power in the state not to shirk responsibility as it is “no occasion to play politics”.
The Governor questioned, “How can an elected head of a government use public money to give advertisement in national media that there will be no NRC, no CAB in state? This advertisement is unconstitutional.” He was referring to the advertisement aired by the state government that neither CAA nor NRC will be implemented in Bengal. The Governor, who has been at loggerheads with the Mamata Banerjee government over several issues, said, “As constitutional head I had gracefully invited chief minister’s attention and urged her to withdraw the advertisements concerned. I am sure you all will agree that public money can’t be used to lead an agitation against law of the land.”
The Governor, who described the law and order situation in the state as “unimaginable”, said “public property is being damaged in a wanton manner, ruthlessly and recklessly, and fear has been put in the minds of people belonging to a certain section of the society.” Meanwhile, the ruling Trinamul Congress today took out rallies across the state, protesting against the CAA. Several senior party leaders, including ministers, led rallies in various districts and also appealed to the people to maintain peace and refrain from indulging in violence.