BJP, Left, Cong teams barred from going to Baduria

Roopa, 19 other leaders detained
Report by: 
7 Jul 2017

BJP, Left and Congress leaders were today stopped from going to Baduria in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district as the situation was volatile following communal clashes earlier this week, officials said.

"The situation is still tense. We have not allowed any delegation to go there as it might create problems," a senior district official said. "We have been stopped near Ashoknagar area on the grounds that if we go to those areas it might create law and order problem. But we are not going there for any political programme. We are going there to meet the people who have suffered due to riots," Left Front legislative party leader Sujan Chakraborty said. He said the Left Front would organise a demonstration against the police and the TMC government in Barasat area of the district.

CPM MP Md Salim alleged the police has failed to control the riots. "They are stopping peace lovers and not those fomenting riots," he alleged and said "instead of controlling riots, the chief minister was busy quarrelling with the Governor", he said. The Congress team, led by WBPCC chief Adhir Chowdhury, was also stopped at Barasat for the same reason. Chowdhury told newspersons: "The main intention of our visit was to tell the people there to live together in peace".

Stopped from going to the violence-hit area, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said: "We wanted to go and meet the people there to restore peace, but the TMC government did not allow our leaders. The state government does not want the cooperation of Opposition parties." He said the BJP would organise a rally here tomorrow to condemn the role of the state government. "We will also meet Governor K N Tripathi and demand in writing the imposition of President's Rule in the state," Ghosh said. Another BJP delegation led by MP Roopa Ganguly was detained by police near Michael Nagar area when they were on their way to riot-hit Baduria area in North 24 Parganas district.

Ganguly and 19 party leaders were detained by the police close to the airport. After being detained, the BJP team was brought to the Airport police station. "We told the delegation that they will not be allowed to go to Baduria, as per the decision of the administration. The situation is still tense, that is why nobody is being allowed to go there. "But they were adamant and said either they will court arrest or will proceed forward. So we had to detain them," a senior police officer of Bidhanagar police Commissionerate said.

Michael Nagar is within the limits of Bidhanagar Police Commissionerate. Baduria and its adjoining areas witnessed a communal flare-up following a post by a youth on Facebook earlier this week. Though the youth was arrested, members of two communities clashed, set up road blockades, damaged shops and set fire to vehicles. Police and paramilitary forces today marched through the troubled areas of West Bengal's riot-hit North 24 Parganas district to quell violence, a senior official said.

Although the state government said the situation was under control in Baduria, Swarupnagar, Deganga and Basirhat areas, unofficial sources reported sporadic violence in some pockets on Thursday evening. Locals chose to stay indoors with shops, markets, schools remaining closed and the transport system badly hit. Ignoring chief minister Mamata Banerjee's appeal to all parties not to visit the areas to avoid further trouble, teams of the Left, Congress and BJP attempted to do so. However, police stopped them from entering.

"The situation is still tense, that's why we have not allowed any delegation to go there as it might create problems," a senior district official said. "The area is already under prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC and according to law we'll not allow anybody to assemble here. We don't want to take any chances," he said. Amid his spat with chief minister Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal governor K N Tripathi had on Thursday expressed satisfaction over the steps being taken to restore peace in the riot-hit areas of North 24 Parganas district. "I want peace and law and order to be restored. And I am happy that steps are being taken in that direction," he told newspersons on the sidelines of a programme here.

Meanwhile, Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu today described the communal violence in a West Bengal district as "unfortunate" and requested the state government to take effective steps to protect all the people -- "whether they are minority or majority". Clashes broke out between members of two communities in Baduria in Basirhat sub-division of North 24-Parganas district earlier this week over an "objectionable" Facebook post.

"It is unfortunate. I hope the state government will take the situation seriously and take all effective steps to protect the people, every section of the people -- whether they are minority or majority," Naidu told newspersons here.
Stressing that no one should be discriminated against, the information and broadcasting minister said, "Every community is part of India...I hope the state government will take action to protect the people."